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Pakistan is open for investment and the government is trying to attract investment in Special Economic Zones or SEZs, federal Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Thursday.

Expressing the determination to make
Pakistan one of the top economies in Asia and the world, he said that the
country would overcome all hurdles in the path to making it economically great
again.

Speaking at the United States
Institute of Peace in Washington, he said: “We are trying to attract investment
in Special Economic Zones.”

Pointing out the unique strategic location of the deep seaport at Gwadar, he said that it was also open for investment from other countries apart from China.

According to the finance minister,
Pakistan valued Chinese contribution in the development of necessary
infrastructure in Pakistan. He, however, said Pakistan’s relations with China
would not affect its relations with the United States.

He also said we are also encouraging
overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan had made
significant improvements in ease of doing business.

Shaukat Tarin said that Pakistan was moving towards inclusive and sustainable growth.

He said that the country was
expected to achieve a GDP growth of 5% during the current fiscal year. He said that the government had taken
measures to revitalize agriculture, industries and housing sectors.

“We have also given a complete
package to uplift four million marginalized households by providing
interest-free loans through microfinance banks,” Shaukat Tarin said.

Responding to a question, the
finance minister described his talks with the IMF as being encouraging.

He said that Pakistan sought
friendly ties with the US and both countries needed to work together for
improving the situation in the region.

When asked about the FATF, Shaukat Tarin said that Pakistan had fulfilled 26 of 27 conditions. He said that had any country done so, it would have been off the ‘grey list’ long ago. He regretted that Pakistan was being punished by some countries.

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Abdul Gh Lone

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