Pakistan offers best investment opportunities with complete protection: PM

ISLAMABAD, Oct 5 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Wednesday invited the Belarusian investors to take advantage of the investment friendly and growth oriented policies which offered full legal protection to their investment with immense potential to excel in various sectors.

The Prime Minister said his government was pursuing its
objectives of achieving fast track progress through consistency and continuity of growth oriented policies and strengthening of the institutions.

Addressing the Pakistan Belarus Investment and Business Forum here, he said the government was also enabling completion of mega development projects on fast track basis.

The Prime Minister said when his government was elected during 2013, there were three major challenges; power shortage with debilitating economic effects, economy was on the down turn and law and order situation coupled with terrorism.

But in the last three years, his government had made
significant progress in all these areas, he said, adding the government’s economic team strived and achieved a complete turnaround and within three years, the tax returns reached to 60 per cent.

He said by slashing extra expenditures, budget deficit was
brought to half and the country’s growth rate reached to an average of 4 per cent, while in the current year, it was hovering around 4.7 per cent.

The Prime Minister said his government was cognizant of the
fact that in order to fight the menace of poverty and unemployment, this growth rate required to be accelerated and that was why the country achieved the macro economic stability.

The inflation rate was brought down by 3 per cent the lowest
in country’s history in the one and half decade whereas the interest rate was also recorded as the lowest in last forty years, he added.

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The Prime Minister referred to strides made by the Pakistan
Stock Exchange, saying that it had been the best performing market in the world.

The Government had successfully completed its 3 year programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said, adding the IMF had expressed its satisfaction over the government’s reforms programme.

The Prime Minister said the international publications and
rating companies had also acknowledged the government’s economic and development programmes.

He noted that still further steps were required to increase
the bulk of investment and export. The economic teams led by dynamic minister Ishaq Dar was comprehensively working on a package to revive the export prospects.

The Prime Minister also reiterated that Pakistan was a peace
loving country and committed to live in peace and dignity with all the regional countries and the world.

Pakistan had condemned the terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations in any part of the world, he said, adding that he had firm belief that peace would usher in progress and development of the region.

The Prime Minister further said that his government was also
working in the field of energy through long term policies. About 20,000 MW would be achieved as result of these policies out of which more than 10,000 MW of power would be produced by the end of 2018, eliminating the power outages.

About other salient features of the investment friendly
policies, the Prime Minister said the foreign equity to 100 per cent and 100 per cent repatriation of capital, profit and dividends were allowed to the foreign investors as the government was treating the local and foreign investors equally.

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He said for shared prosperity, there was need for wider
connectivity and under this vision, 46$ billion flagship of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was being implemented.

Through Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline and Central Asia and South Asia (CASA 1000) power project, the regional countries would be linked through energy corridor, he added.

He said this regional integration also offered unparallel
opportunities for the Belarusian investors and companies to invest in these projects.

The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that with such
‘win win situation’ and vast perspectives for business growth, the Belarusian and Pakistani investors would further strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in his address
stressed the need to strengthen the business and economic
cooperation between the business and investors of the two countries.

He said the investment dynamics always boosted the relations among states, highlighting the investment opportunities and preferential treatment his country accorded to foreign investors especially from Pakistan.

Lukashenko further hoped that the investors and companies from Belarus would also explore opportunities in the CPEC.

He also stressed upon the investors and business people from both countries to find common opportunities in technical and industrial sectors, banking, taxing and certification etc.

Minister for Finance senator Ishaq Dar, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir, Chairman Board of Investment Miftah Ismail and a large number of business represenatives from both countries were present during the Forum.