Country's exports rise by 6.2%; expected 30% by next year: PM

ISLAMABAD, Dec 15 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Thursday said the country’s exports have witnessed a 6.2  percent increase last year and owing to government’s effective  strategy, these would go up to 30 percent by next year.

He was addressing the 40th Exports Award ceremony of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) here at the Pakistan-China Friendship Centre.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke at length about the  grave challenges his government inherited and said difficult decisions were taken to help steer the country out of its problems.

The Prime Minister said positive results were now visible in all spheres, showing enhanced growth and  progress.

He said the government’s focus was now on growth and  assured that all necessary resources would be made available  to the industrial, agricultural and other sectors.

He said creation of new jobs was part of his government’s  agenda, besides ending poverty and providing better health and  education services.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the operation to restore peace in Karachi would continue and the port city’s stature of country’s major business hub would be further boosted.

He said once the remotest area of Balochistan – Gwadar has turned into a game changer and was being linked with major trade centers of the country and with China.

He said the PML-N government took the first step in progress  of Balochistan by allowing the political parties to choose their  own setup, without any interference.

Similarly, Nawaz Sharif said the PML-N would have easily  formed a government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the cooperation  of Maulana Fazalur Rehman, but offered PTI to form their own government.

However, he pointed that it was the federal government that was undertaking all the mega development projects, besides tackling the issue of terrorism, and said the tall claims of the provincial government have failed to materialise.

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He said besides major road development projects, the government was extending the six-lane motorway from Karachi to Peshawar, and said various sections were already complete, while work on remaining was in various phases of completion.

Nawaz Sharif pointed that a revolution has been brought  in through a series of road network projects that would link  not only different regions of the country, but would also  connect with international borders to boost connectivity  and country’s trade.

Prime Minister Sharif said he was not a person to shy away from difficulties and challenges and was used to tackling the problems head-on. He said he believed in serving the masses and would continue to do so till his last breath.

He said when his government came into power there were huge challenges and with the help of Almighty Allah and the people of Pakistan the PML-N government took up the issues one by one and today the country was making a swift progress in all spheres of life.

Prime Minister Sharif said the country faced grave issue of power outages of up to 18 hours a day, but with great team work and efforts the long hours of loadshedding have been reduced considerably.

He recalled how his team worked day and night to evolve a strategy to resolve the problems. He recalled that the previous governments shelved the issue under the carpet and made tall claims, but it was the PML-N government that took practical steps to address the issue.

He said his government looked way beyond 2018 and was taking long term steps to make the country self sufficient in electricity generation.

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He said his government was working on mega projects with a commitment and zeal and said he was proud to note that not even a penny of corruption scandal has surfaced during his tenure.

Sharif asked the industrialists and entrepreneurs to question those who were in power in the past for their failure in addressing the chronic issue of loadshedding.

Referring to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Sharif said a number of energy and other projects would not only generate employment but also boost its industrial growth.

He referred to the Thar Coal project and said it would generate power but also meet long term needs of the country.

He said it would also help lower the cost of power generation and the benefit would be passed on to the masses. Prime Minister Sharif referred to the mega Diamir-Bhasha dam project and said it would generate 4500 MW electricity.

The Prime Minister on a demand of the traders asked them to come up with their proposals about the Amnesty Scheme and said the government would review their suggestions.

Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar said the country has made remarkable progress in economy, it has stabilised and been acknowledged by leading global financial institutions.

He lauded the dynamic vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his vision and for taking out economy out of its dismal state.

He said the pending development projects of past 15 years have been revived and were progressing satisfactorily.

Dar said another 10,000 MWs would be added to the national grid by March 2018, and would fulfill yet another promise of the Prime Minister made to the people of the country.

Prime Minister Nawaz handed over Export award trophies for outstanding performance to different industrialists.