ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday said that international investors were keenly interested in investment opportunities due to the strong economic fundamentals achieved by Pakistan in the last three years.

He made these remarks while talking to a delegation of Chinese private equity investors, which was led by Yau Wai Ming, chairman of Haotian Group Holdings Limited, and Ms Cheng Yan, vice president of China Huarong International Holdings Ltd, Hong Kong. Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also present on the occasion.

The finance minister welcomed the delegation and appreciated the interest of Chinese investors in Pakistan. He said that the ongoing projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor are stimulating further investment in infrastructure development in Pakistan. The minister emphasized that Pakistan and China have a strong collaboration in developing connectivity in the region.

Vice President of China Huarong International Holdings thanked the finance minister for his warm welcome. She greatly appreciated recent economic progress made by Pakistan. She briefed the minister that the delegation is interested in identifying investment opportunities in Pakistan in the fields of infrastructure, finance, petroleum and retail business and they have been preparing draft investment plans keeping in view the investment opportunities offered by Pakistan.

Chairman of Haotian Group Holdings said that the delegation comprised large asset managers from China and they were interested in investment in Pakistan due to the macroeconomic stability and investment facilitative regime in Pakistan.

The finance minister briefly discussed with the delegation the financial stability achieved by Pakistan during the last three years and steps taken to enhance ease of doing business. He especially mentioned the high performance shown by recently established Pakistan Stock Exchange, which is attracting international investment interest. Senator Dar also said that the Pakistan Development Fund Ltd (PDF) will finance commercially viable infrastructure projects in Pakistan and that the government has received interest from IFC of the World Bank, China Development Bank and sovereign investment authorities for equity investment in the PDF. He also said that the recently upgraded ratings of Pakistan by Standards and Poor’s is an ample proof of the gains Pakistan has been making in the economic field over a short period of time. The minister appreciated the interest shown by the delegation in various fields and offered all possible assistance of his team to assist the delegation in identifying best possible opportunities to invest in Pakistan.

Secretary Finance, chairman FBR, secretary Petroleum, secretary Water & Power, chairman SECP and SA to FM and senior officials from the Ministry of Finance attended the meeting.