Economic dynamism, FDI linked to political stability

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ISLAMABAD: Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal said political stability and policy coherence are critically important to put the country on a development path and attract foreign direct investment (FDI).

Addressing a Pakistan Business Council event in Islamabad on Thursday, he said diagnosis of any disease is important for its proper treatment and said corruption is not the cause of lack of development. He said that in Pakistan there is as much corruption as in other countries; political instability and policy incoherence have been the major cause of Pakistan’s development backwardness.

The minister regretted that FDI in Pakistan is even less compared to Myanmar. The minister said a gradual increase in export growth would not serve the purpose at this stage and in the future as the country needs a $10 billion jump.

He said that China through CPEC is making investments in Pakistan when even domestic investors were not ready to invest let alone foreign investors. Iqbal said that when the country was facing an energy crisis, the energy policy was announced but no one was ready to invest, then China came to the aid of Pakistan by signing memorandums of understanding worth $46 billion. . Initially, energy projects were undertaken and investments of $29 billion were made. The coal of Thar was exploited.

Ahsan Iqbal emphasizes exports and investments for Pakistan’s economic growth

The minister said that infrastructure and energy projects have been completed under the CPEC and in the second phase, more than 30-40 billion dollars of business-to-business investment is expected, but this confidence has been destroyed after 2018 pointing out some flaws.

The minister said that the CPEC aims to transform Pakistan into an industrial economy.
The Minister said that political stability and policy continuity are essential to move the country forward on the path of development.

He said that in addition to increasing the tax-to-GDP ratio from 9% to 18-20%, it is very important to increase domestic and foreign investment and exports to lift the country out of the current challenges. He said that a few weeks ago everyone was talking about default and people were betting on the dollar rate, but now nobody is talking about default and those who had bet on the dollar rate are lamenting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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