Right now is the best time for investing in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said this while addressing a session of Future Investment Initiative on Tuesday. The conference, touted as ‘Davos in Desert’, is being held in Riyadh.
Clad in a white shalwar kameez with black coat, Imran looked determined to attract foreign investment for the country.
He said that Pakistan has immense potential. “We had lost our way, but Pakistan is ready now,” he said.
During the session, he reiterated the different strategies of the government to improve the economy.
He said that the ‘Naya Pakistan’ is basically what the country was meant to be. “Our founding fathers had envisaged a state-based justice, meritocracy, welfare state, and educating people,” he said.
“It is all about going back to the principles of what our founding fathers stood for,” he explained.
He remarked that his government inherited two big deficits; current account and fiscal. “We want to increase our exports, get remittances through the banking channels, and bolster our foreign exchange reserves,” he said.
The government will clamp down on money launderers and create opportunities for investment, Khan added.
“We are speaking to the IMF and friendly governments to help us get through this difficult phase,” he said, adding that there is a tough period ahead for the country.
“Corruption is what makes a country poor. It is what differentiates a developing country from developed one,” Khan said. The menace even destroys state institutions.
He said that the government is working on a strategy to strengthen institutions. “We have to divert resources towards human development.”
Relations with China
The premier said that Pakistan can learn a lot from China to overcome its two biggest problems; poverty and corruption.
“China is the only history which brought seven million people out of poverty and it clamped down on corruption too,” he said. Alongside, China has a huge market, he added.
He shared that he will be travelling to China next month to discuss strategies for poverty alleviation and rooting out corruption.
The prime minister remarked that the first step towards empowering women is educating them.
He said that the government is working on laws to ensure that women get their inheritance rights. The micro-financing banks are also providing loans to women more because they have a better ratio of paying them off, Khan remarked.
On relations with India, Imran said that he extended a “hand of peace”, but India never responded.
He reasoned that it could be because Indian elections are coming. “Anti-Pakistan rhetoric brings in more votes.”
Khan hoped that the two neighbouring countries are able to improve their ties.