Advisor to the Prime Minister on commerce, textile, industries, production and investment Abdul Razak Dawood Thursday assured more relief for farmers and business community in the upcoming budget 2019-20.

Razak Dawood said this while addressing a ceremony for inauguration of snacks plant of ‘PepsiCo’ established at a cost of US$ 63 million in Industrial Estate Area (IEA) Multan. Mike Spanos, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PepsiCo for Asia, Middle East & North Africa was also present.

Razak Dawood said that duties on imported raw material would be reduced in the upcoming national budget. He said the government was committed to change the direction of economy and added the products manufactured in Pakistan must also be exported to earn foreign exchange.

He highlighted the government’s desire to facilitate investors so that they grow their businesses, engage in exports and contribute more to the national economy.

The advisor said that PTI government believed in providing incentives and ease of doing business in a conducive environment. “Operations of multinational companies are important in Pakistan due to their strict safety standards, quality control and professional approach.”

He said that Multan was the hub of agriculture and there were enormous potential and opportunities for investment.

He appreciated that despite a sharp fall in potato prices, farmers engaged with PepsiCo, and received a double price for their potato produce. The company kept showing sincerity to farmers even during potato price crisis situation, he added.

He also hailed the host company for giving jobs to women, almost 25 per cent of their overall staff strength in Pakistan.

To a demand by the host company, he said if PepsiCo wanted to export its products to Afghanistan and other countries the government would endorse their plan.

Speaking on the occasion, PepsiCo CEO Mr Mike Spanos said his company always gave priority to Pakistan due to large youth force. He said he was impressed by the people and food in Pakistan, adding that he would try to convince people to invest in Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan had a good environment for investment with future prospects for investors. “PepsiCo invested the US $ 800 million during the last five years and committed to investing another US$ 1 billion in next five years.”