Ishaq Dar briefs Investors on Pakistan Economy

London:

Standard Chartered Bank hosted a high profile investors/fund managers breakfast session with Pakistan’s Minister of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization, Senator Ishaq Dar, in London yesterday.

The event was attended by a large number of prominent emerging market credit investors in London and senior Standard Chartered Executives, including Group Chief Executive, Mr. Peter Sands.

Mr Dar presented a comprehensive update on the Economic and Structural policy reforms initiatives  taken by the new government under the leadership of Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

The Finance Minister reiterated the government’s resolve to face the monumental economic challenges faced by  the country  based on the policy of self reliance and highlighted the salient features of his roadmap for  adressing macro –economic imbalances.The objectives of the government,he added, include  acceleration in growth, fiscal consolidation, promoting domestic and foreign investment and trade, tax and energy sector reforms and strategic partnership to turn around  State Owned Enterprises.

The Finance Minister apprised the paricipants that Pakistan  ranked 32nd in  World Bank  Rankings pertaining to investment protection which was better than many countries in the world. Mr Dar stated that Pakistan had one of the most investment and trade friendly regimes with abundant cheap and skilled labour force . He said the government of Pakistan would welcome  international investors and fund managers to take advantage of the investment and business friendly environment of Pakistan.

The Minister further said that the enormous support for Pakistan currently being expressed by the international financial institutions, multilateral donors and investors indicates the level of confidence that the new government of PMLN enjoys in the international community.

The fund managers indicated a strong interest in sovereign bonds being floated by Government of Pakistan and assured him of their participation

The session was followed by  a brief Q&A session. Responding to a question regarding workers’ remittances, Mr. Dar said that he had advised the State Bank of Pakistan to come up with a scheme for  providing initiatives and facilitation both to the expatriate Pakistanis as well as  financial institutions with the objective of speedy and reliable transfer of remittances to Pakistan.This he said would not only help increase  remittances from the current level of US $ 14 billion to US $ 16 billion by fiscal year 2015  but also help achieve the  target of US $20billion  in the next few years.