Pak economic indicators improve considerably


Islamabad—Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said Pakistan was the new success story as economic indicators of country have improved considerably over the last three years.
The foreign exchange reserves have more than doubled from US $ 10 billion to US $ 23 billion and inflation remained lowest in South Asia, he added.
Ahsan Iqbal expressed these views during his meetings with various officials as well as interaction with media in Tokyo, where he arrived on a two day visit to participate in the World Marketing Summit (October 11-12), according to a message received here from Tokyo.
On the margins of the summit, the Minister held meetings with Secretary General of Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn, Governor of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Mr Akira Kondoh, Japanese Business Corporations of Global Reach and also interacted with media persons.
Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms said the present government was able to bring down budget deficit to 4.7% of GDP, adding, Morgan Stanley declared Pakistan as one of the promising emerging markets globally and Karachi Stock Exchange has been rated as one of the top three stock exchanges of Asia.
He also highlighted Pakistan’s demographic dividend as over 2/3rd of its 200 million population was under 25 years of age. He said vision 2025 focuses on productivity as a major driver of growth.
Government is launching a major initiative to improve productivity, quality & innovation for enhancing Pakistan’s competitiveness, he added. Secretary General APO assured full support for the initiative. The Minister said that the grand China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project has already taken off and bears immense potential for North-South and East-West connectivity of three billion strong regions of South Asia, China and Central Asia.
He said that CPEC was not a bilateral project but it was an inclusive project where major economies from European Union, Middle East, America and Asia were also showing their interest to join in.
He also invited Japan to take advantage of this opportunity and encouraged Japanese corporations to take advantage of opportunities arising out of projects in transport infrastructure and power generation on Independent Power Producers model.
Pakistan has undertaken biggest ever investment to upgrade and modernize its energy and transport infrastructure. The Minister shunned off any apprehensions relating to security concerns about Pakistan and informed of successes in Security Operation, Zarb-e-Azb.
When asked by Japanese media about the situation prevalent at the Line of Control (LoC), the Minister reiterated Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s vision of “Peaceful Neighbourhood”.
He stated that for development of people to take place peace in South Asia was a must, which required resolution of Kashmir dispute.
Discussing situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir, he stated that the excesses committed by Indian Security Forces have resulted in death and injury to thousands of innocent Kashmiris.
He stressed that right to vote of Kashmiris has been promised by the international community under United Nations Security Council Resolutions and should be granted.
This will thoroughly discredit the narrative peddled by terrorists that the world doesn’t care when it comes to the sufferings of Muslims, he added. While responding to Pakistan’s political situation, he criticized PTI’s politics of agitation and termed it an immature politics.
Instead of discussing the issues in parliament, PTI has mounted an agitational politics which was widely rejected by the people in Pakistan in recently held bye-elections and elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, he added. He said all the other major political parties have rejected the PTI’s solo politics of agitation.—APP