Stability to trigger growth, says PM

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said that the stable macro-economic and security environment in Pakistan would trigger growth and progress in the country.

Addressing a Pakistan-Turkey investment roundtable conference here, he said Pakistan offered immense potential for foreign investment.  He said a sound institutional framework was in place and the government’s commitment to protect foreign investments was unwavering. The prime minister urged Turkish investors to invest in agriculture, energy, and infrastructure sectors.

He said that due to prudent policies of the government, the economy had become stable, inflation receded, fiscal deficit had remained control, and confidence in exchange rate management had been restored with substantial increase in foreign exchange reserves. Sharif said stock market remained buoyant and was regarded as one of the best performing markets of the region.

He said international rating agencies had upgraded Pakistan’s economic outlook.  The prime  minister expressed the hope that Pakistan would certainly overcome energy shortage by the start of 2018. He said the CPEC would connect China and central Asia through Gwadar Port.

Sharif said large-scale industrial parks and zones were being established along the corridor, which would ultimately generate massive industrial and commercial activities in Pakistan and the region. Nawaz Sharif invited Turkey to become part of the CPEC by exploring massive investment opportunities, the project is offering. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country was looking forward to cooperating with Pakistan in all fields. He said Turkey considered Pakistan’s development and progress as its own. The president said the CPEC would certainly magnify regional cooperation and strengthen Pakistan’s economy.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Yildirim Tugrul Turkes has offered to assist Pakistan in any way possible with its tax reforms.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar held a joint meeting with deputy prime ministers of Turkey, Yildirim Tugrul Turkes and Veysi Kaynak, at the Prime Minister’s House to discuss matters of bilateral interest between Pakistan and Turkey. zBoth sides appreciated the exemplary brotherly relationship between Pakistan and Turkey.  It was agreed by both sides that all necessary measures should be undertaken to further enhance bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

The finance minister acknowledged that the government and people of Turkey were always the first to reach and help Pakistan in our hour of need.

He said that, in recent years, the First Lady of Turkey had played a leading and exemplary role in providing help to mitigate the suffering of citizens affected by natural disasters in Pakistan, including earthquakes and floods.

Dar said that Pakistan had achieved macroeconomic stability during the present government, and now the government was focused on stimulating economic growth.

He said that the improvement in Pakistan’s economy had been recognised by multilateral international organisations and international credit rating agencies, in the form of raised growth projections and credit rating upgrades.

The finance minister praised the taxation model of Turkey and said that cooperation efforts were already being undertaken at the appropriate level to draw lessons from the Turkish experience.

The deputy prime ministers of Turkey congratulated the finance minister on the achievement of economic stability in Pakistan within a short span of time.

Deputy Prime Minister Yildirim Tugrul Turkes said that Turkey had undertaken its tax reforms in a business-friendly manner, and Turkey would be happy to assist Pakistan in any way possible with its tax reforms.