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Minister Ahsan Iqbal addressed IMF’s Conference on Macroeconomic and Financial Frameworks for Successful Implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Dated : 12 April 2018

Islamabad April 12, 2018: While speaking about the global economy, Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said that the undermined economy of the world can only be overcome if we can create new demand in the world economy. He said new demand comes from new markets and new markets would only come through new connectivity.

The spirit behind Belt and road initiative is to connect the dots by improving connectivity and open new markets. The new markets would then create new demand and would lead us towards growth maintained the Minister.

He said that Pakistan has witnessed noteworthy progress in energy sector. Where we used to have power shortage for 16 to 17 hours we now have power available for 16 to 17 hours.

He said that Pakistan’s industrial production has increased considerably. In the current fiscal year Pakistan has achieved 5.8% GDP growth rate whereas we were stuck at 3% average growth rate from 2008 to 2013.

Federal Minister said that In Pakistan, the construction industry itself has witnessed a great boost and its related industries inclusive of steel, cement, services and logistic departments have robust growth in the sector.

While talking about Economic Zones minster said that beyond infrastructure, Pakistan is going to establish 7 special economic zones to promote industrial cooperation. The end objective of industrial infrastructure is to foster industrialization in the country.

He said that Pakistan is aligning its national regional and bilateral programs with CPEC. We feel that there has to be a. positive synergy between the investments we have in other multilateral arrangements with Belt and Road Initiative so that that all could be integrated to create value.

Pakistan has setup a parliamentary committee to carry out over sight of all Belt and Road and CPEC projects in order to ensure that all parties are on board and result in inclusive development.

Minister said Pakistan makes sure that all projects are based on prudent analysis. There is a joint working group of both Pakistan and China that thoroughly examines every project for its financial viability and for its fitness to be in the portfolio.

He said we ensure that all project meet the process of planning, process of feasibility and overall reserves.

Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that we feel that there is a big knowledge gap that exists between our private sector business and the Chinese economy.

He said that traditionally Pakistan’s business setup was aligned with North America and Europe. We are now trying to create linkages and have recently established a consortium of business tools of China and business tools of Pakistan to promote more business to business linkages.

Pakistan is also working on capacity building of our chambers so that in this infrastructure we could build a more robust business to business partnership between the two countries.