External debt to GDP ratio stands at 20%: Secretary Finance

WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (APP):The successful issuance of Sukuk at the lowest rate ever shows the investors confidence in Pakistans financial market and its remarkable turnaround, Finance Secretary Dr. Waqar Masood Khan said at a meeting with US businessmen Thursday evening.

The Finance Secretary informed the American businessmen that the issuance of sukuk bonds this week was oversubscribed five times at the lowest rate in the countrys history and was a proof that investors have full confidence in our economy.

He said that the countrys economy has undergone a remarkable turnaround in the last three years, after the present government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took over in 2013. As a result of business friendly policies of the current Government, Pakistan has become an ideal choice for Foreign Direct Investment, he added.

Finance Secretary stated that prevailing inflation and interest rates are the lowest in last four decades. He said that as a result of fiscal discipline, the Government has narrowed down fiscal deficit and increased tax collection which has helped in enhancing flow of credit to private sector.

He further noted that the private sector lending has more than doubled during last one year and therefore, the US investors should also benefit from the this window of opportunity and increase capital investment in Pakistan.

The Secretary informed the audience that only the second time in the history, Pakistan has completed an IMF Program which has been appreciated by the International Financial Institutions and Global investors.

Dr. Khan also shared with the investors the rising level of foreign exchange reserves which have reached a historic level of over $23.5 billion. Therefore, the investors should be confident about safety of their investment, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani informed the participants that the government has been facilitating issuance of visas to businessmen and investors to promote investment in Pakistan.

He reiterated that the genuine businessmen will continue to get multiple entry visas on priority basis.