Foreigners urged to invest in energy, infrastructure

Foreigners urged to invest in energy, infrastructure

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Friday urged international investors to grab huge potential and opportunities in Pakistan’s energy and infrastructure sectors.
He was talking to Philip Barton, British High Commissioner to Pakistan accompanied by Richard Montgomery, Head of UK Department for International Development, Pakistan who called on the minister here at the Finance Ministry.
The minister informed the delegation that Pakistan’s economy is performing much better as all the economic indicators are on the positive side. 
The GDP is growing up and the rate of inflation is going down.
Dar said that during the last seven months of the current fiscal year there has been 17% growth in taxes collection whereas it was less than 3% last year.  
“We are confident to meet our targets for the current fiscal year”, he remarked.
He added that, “we will be sticking to disciplinary mechanism on expenditure side and enhance our allocation for developmental activities and disbursements to poor people through social safety networks”. 
He emphasized that there is a great potential for trade expansion with the United Kingdom in the light of Prime Minister’s vision for consistency in economic policies and creating an atmosphere where foreign investors can invest in energy, hydrocarbons and infrastructure projects.
The minister also briefed the High Commissioner about his recent visit to Afghanistan and development projects including Torkham-Jalalabad Highway and Kidney Hospital, undertaken by Pakistan. 
He said that these are the signature projects between Pakistan and Afghanistan which are close to our hearts.
He said that the visit went very well in general public of that brotherly country. 
The minister concluded that the best way the United Kingdom can help is to encourage the international investors to grab the huge potential and opportunities available in Pakistan in energy and infrastructure sectors.
The High Commissioner said that making Pakistan more prosperous is key to our relationship. 
He said that we are very keen to work with Pakistan on enhancing our commercial and economic relations. 
He said that the Pakistani diaspora in United Kingdom is of a great value for us who consider Pakistan as their second home. He said that we are impressed with the transparency and merit oriented policies, the government is pursuing. 
He added that in a democracy, fundamental policy of the government is to collect taxes and allocate resources for development. 
He also appreciated Minister’s visit to Jallalabad, despite security issues on the day when a terrorist act happened in Kunar province. 
He expressed his government’s resolve to work with Pakistan in bringing peace and prosperity to the region.
Moreover, the High Commissioner added, that we are of firm belief that CASA-1000 and energy corridor between Pakistan-Afghanistan and Central Asian Republic States will promote regional trade and the United Kingdom is willing to help in these projects.
He also assured the Finance Minister that United Kingdom is looking forward to help Pakistan in meeting their economic problems and to bring in foreign investment.  
Montgomery said that UK AID is working with the State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund and other public and private banking sector for providing agricultural financing including micro-enterprise loans and savings services to the rural low income clients in Pakistan.  
He said that the initiative will help spur innovative practices to increase financial services in the agriculture sector. 

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