Economic growth targets set for emerging Pakistan: PM

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DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 22 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said his government had set definite targets for growth of economy through foreign investment and ease-of-doing business as the country gained strength in financial domain.

Speaking at ‘Pakistan Country Strategy Dialogue’, a moderated session at World Economic Forum, the prime minister said his government was consciously planning to promote growth of industries across the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan used the interactive platform, attended by economists, businessmen and media persons from different countries, to highlight his vision about transforming Pakistan into an investment and tourism destination.

“The first year of our government was about gaining economic stability and now we want the economy to grow and expand,” he said.

Imran Khan said the whole idea was to reverse “anti profit-making social mindset”
by providing incentives to industries.

He said Pakistan had now attained position among the fastest growing economies in the sub-continent and mentioned Pakistan’s high ranking in World Bank’s index of ‘ease-of-doing business’.

He said corrective measures by his government resulted in the surge of foreign investment by 200 percent.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said in earlier decades, Pakistan’s participation in Afghan Jehad and 9/11, had serious setbacks in shape of societal damage, weak economy and life loss.

“The Afghan conflict left us with troubles like rise of sectarian groups, and drug and Kalashnikov culture whereas the war on terror resulted in our 70,000 casualties,” he said.

Bearing the brunt of these two wars, the prime minister said, his government had categorically decided not to join any other war. “Instead, Pakistan has now decided to only partner with peace,” he said.

Pakistan wanted to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, he said in reference to the recent tension in the region, following the strained ties between the United States and Iran.

Prime Minister Irman Khan said tourism sector in Pakistan flourished the most after improved security situation.

“It is my firm belief that tourism can generate immense revenue and bring investment
to strengthen national economy,” he said, adding the country was declared ‘most
exciting tourist destination’ by British Backpackers Foundation.

He said Pakistan was a cradle of world’s oldest and sacred civilizations including Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Sufism, that gave it a edge of diversity in religious tourism.

Imran Khan invited the foreign investors to explore Pakistan’s rich potential in
tourism, agriculture, and gold and copper mining.

To meet technological advancements of the outer world, he said Pakistan was set to witness a revolution with launch of ‘Digital Pakistan’ programme, aimed at digitization
of governance and other services.

He mentioned a former Google professional Tania Aidrus, who on the government’s request, returned to Pakistan to lead the first-ever project of country’s digital
transformation.

The prime minister arrived in Davos on Tuesday to attend the annual meeting of World Economic Forum and also held sideline meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump, Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev, Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien, Chairman
Calik Holding Ahmet Calik and CEO SAP software company Christian Klein.