PM woos US companies to invest in Pakistan

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APP94-20 NEW YORK: September 20 - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing the business community at a reception hosted by US-Pakistan Business Council (USPBC). APP

NEW YORK Sept 20 (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan
Abbasi Wednesday wooed the US companies to invest in Pakistan,
a land of opportunities, that ensured secure environment and
promised lucrative and safe returns.
Addressing a luncheon attended by heads and
representatives of leading US companies organized by the
Pakistan-United States Business Council here at a hotel,
the Prime Minister said Pakistan was slated to be the 20th
largest economy by the year 2025, it would have its
60% population below the age of 30 and a huge 100 million
middle class.
“The potential is all out there and it needs to be
realized,” the Prime Minister said.
He recalled his meeting with President Donald Trump last
night at the reception and also pointed to his “very
productive” meeting with the US Vice President Mike Pence and
said the American leadership was very positive about Pakistan.
He said he too assured that his country was committed to fight
and eliminate terrorism from its soil.
He said the government of Pakistan was fully aware of
the needs of the investors and would ensure that the needs of
the foreign companies were fully catered to.
Shahid Khaqan dismissed the falsified perception
regarding security concerns in Pakistan and said a number of
US companies were already working in Pakistan and doing a good
business. He mentioned the General Electric that was working
on several projects in Pakistan.
“When you come to Pakistan, you are in very safe hands,”
he said.
He said the US companies could capitalize and benefit from
the huge potential of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, in
which China had already pledged to inject US 60 billion
dollars.
He said the CPEC would open up new routes to the Central
Asian Republics and pointed that new infrastructure, roads and
power projects were being built at a fast pace.
The Prime Minister said the basic requirement of
continuity for the business community was truly reflected in
the recent transition of power, following the orders of the
Supreme Court of Pakistan. He said only after a gap of four
days, the government was fully operational again and serving
the masses.
He said the country’s macro-economic indicators had
improved, the growth rate had risen from 2.6 percent four
years back to 5.3 and would be a sustained 6 percent from next
year. He said the country’s stock exchange was the best
performing in the region and the world, while the rates of
investment in the road projects had risen from a meager US
300 million to US 11 billion annually.
He said by the year 2018 an additional power of 10,000
MW would be added to the national grid, while other projects
were underway to meet the needs of the future.
Similarly he said the demand for natural gas had also
been met by the construction of a modern Liquified Natural Gas
terminal, a 1000 km long transmission line that were feeding
three gas powered electricity generation plants. All completed
in mere 20 months time, a record indeed, the Prime Minister
said.
He said work was also going on at a fast pace for the
construction of huge water reservoirs that would also generate
electricity.
Prime Minister Abbasi said a “quantum change” had been
ushered in Pakistan in the past four years.
Allaying the fears and security concerns he said
Pakistan was at the forefront in the fight against terrorism.
The country had rendered huge sacrifices, with over
6500 security personnel killed, besides 21000 civilian lives
lost, but it had eliminated a number of bases of terrorism and
was moving to make Pakistan fully secure and safe.
He said the country also suffered a colossal US 120 billion economic
loss in its fight to make the world a safer place to live.
He said Karachi was once amongst the six most dangerous
cities in the world, but today it could not be found in such
a top 50 list.
Chairman Pakistan-US Business Council Dr Mahmood Khan
pointed to the seamless transition in the country and said the
US companies were very optimistic about investment
opportunities in the country.
He said the Pakistan was a
vibrant, growing market which promised a growing job market
and a booming economy.
He said the council would continue to encourage the US
companies to explore new avenues of cooperation and investment
in the diverse sectors of Pakistan.
The event was also attended by the Foreign Secretary and
ambassadors of Pakistan to the US and the UN.