islamabad

Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Tuesday said that the economic policies pursued during the last one year by the government had started producing positive impact on the overall economy of the country.

He said this while talking to Jesper Moller Sorensen, Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan, who called on him at the Finance Ministry. The Finance Minister informed that with the successful launch of euro bond in the international market and transparent auction of 3G/4G spectrum, the confidence of international investors in Pakistan is overwhelming. He added that there is huge potential in energy and infrastructure development in Pakistan and foreign companies can benefit from these opportunities.

While discussing the economic potential in Pakistan, the finance minister said that the government has already announced special incentives for foreign direct investment in energy and it is high time that the foreign companies should invest in Pakistan. He informed the Ambassador that the corporate tax rate has been reduced from 33% to 20% if the investment project is set up by 30th June 2017 and at least 50% of the total project cost is in the form of equity through FDI.

Ambassador Sorensen and Minister Dar agreed that they would work diligently to increase bilateral trade between Denmark and Pakistan in the coming years. The current level has the potential to be significantly improved. The Finance Minister welcomed Denmark’s strong support for GSP+ to Pakistan. Ambassador Sorensen updated the Minister about the work of the Danish Embassy to attract more companies to do trade with Pakistan.  The Ambassador stated that energy in general and energy efficiency in particular are some of the areas where Danish companies are very strong. Ambassador Sorensen informed the Minister that the world leading wind turbine manufacture, Vestas, visited Pakistan last week. He expressed hope that this visit would be a breakthrough for wind energy in Pakistan, as Pakistan is a country with a huge untapped wind potential.

“Wind energy has a lot to offer Pakistan in terms of positive socio-economic developments, and wind energy is an advantage as it is quick to stand up and make operational”, said Ambassador Sorensen. The Ambassador assured the Finance Minister that he is also working to bring other companies to Pakistan. As a next significant step, Denmark will bring a delegation of Pakistani companies to Denmark in September to meet potential partners. He expressed hope that forging ties between businesses would help create jobs and growth in both Denmark and Pakistan. Ambassador Sorensen acknowledged the economic reforms undertaking by the PML-N Government, and he welcomed that the economy is now accelerating. He also underlined that it is important to continue the economic reform process in order to make it more attractive for foreign companies to come to Pakistan.

The Ambassador informed the Minister about Denmark’s $50 million development assistance program to Pakistan. He informed the Minister that he had visited Peshawar the previous week, where he on behalf of the Danish government had contributed $11 million to primary education with a special focus on Khyber Pakhtunkwah, Fata and Baluchistan. The Ambassador said that “investing in children is investing in the future and with a focus on education the opportunities for the children to access quality education will without a doubt contribute to the development and growth of Pakistan”.