Pakistan’s economic indicators improve considerably in last three years: Ahsan Iqbal

Pakistan, Russia discuss importance of regional connectivity

ISLAMABAD, Oct 11 (APP): Minister for Planning,
Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said Pakistan was the new success story as economic indicators of country have improved considerably over the last three years.

The foreign exchange reserves have more than doubled
from US $ 10 billion to US $ 23 billion and inflation remained
lowest in South Asia, he added.

Ahsan Iqbal expressed these views during his meetings
with various officials as well as interaction with media in
Tokyo, where he arrived on a two day visit to participate in
the World Marketing Summit (October 11 12), according to a message received here from Tokyo.

On the margins of the summit, the Minister held meetings
with Secretary General of Asian Productivity Organization
(APO) Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn, Governor of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Mr Akira Kondoh, Japanese  Business Corporations of Global Reach and also interacted with media persons.

Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms said the
present government was able to bring down budget deficit to
4.7% of GDP, adding, Morgan Stanley declared Pakistan as one of the promising emerging markets globally and Karachi Stock Exchange has been rated as one of the top three stock exchanges of Asia.

He also highlighted Pakistan’s demographic dividend as
over 2/3rd of its 200 million population was under 25 years of age. He said vision 2025 focuses on productivity as a major driver of growth.

Government is launching a major initiative to improve
productivity, quality & innovation for enhancing Pakistan’s
competitiveness, he added.

Secretary General APO assured full support for the

The Minister said that the grand China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC) project has already taken off and bears
immense potential for North South and East West connectivity of three billion strong regions of South Asia, China and Central Asia.

He said that CPEC was not a bilateral project but it was
an inclusive project where major economies from European
Union, Middle East, America and Asia were also showing their
interest to join in.

He also invited Japan to take advantage of this opportunity and encouraged Japanese corporations to take advantage of opportunities arising out of projects in transport infrastructure and power generation on Independent
Power Producers model.

Pakistan has undertaken biggest ever investment to
upgrade and modernize its energy and transport infrastructure.

The Minister shunned off any apprehensions relating to
security concerns about Pakistan and informed of successes in Security Operation, Zarb e Azb.

When asked by Japanese media about the situation
prevalent at the Line of Control (LoC), the Minister
reiterated Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s vision of “Peaceful Neighbourhood”.

He stated that for development of people to take place
peace in South Asia was a must, which required resolution of
Kashmir dispute.

Discussing situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir, he
stated that the excesses committed by Indian Security Forces have resulted in death and injury to thousands of innocent Kashmiris.

He stressed that right to vote of Kashmiris has been
promised by the international community under United Nations Security Council Resolutions and should be granted.
This will thoroughly discredit the narrative peddled by
terrorists that the world doesn’t care when it comes to the
sufferings of Muslims, he added.

While responding to Pakistan’s political situation, he
criticized PTI’s politics of agitation and termed it an
immature politics. Instead of discussing the issues in
parliament, PTI has mounted an agitational politics which was
widely rejected by the people in Pakistan in recently held
bye elections and elections in Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, he added.

He said all the other major political parties have
rejected the PTI’s solo politics of agitation.