DAVOS - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday invited Swiss and international investors to Pakistan’s energy, telecom, infrastructure, urban development, agro-industry and textiles sectors that offer exciting opportunities for investment.

“I invite you to be our partners in realising our vision for Pakistan. Our vision is of a Pakistan which is business friendly; a Pakistan where foreign investors feel safe and secure; and a Pakistan which is modern, progressive and forward-looking,” he told a group of investors here at a breakfast meeting.

“I assure you that my business-friendly government will extend all possible assistance to you in your business endeavours in Pakistan,” the Prime Minister said as he shared with the gathering, country’s greatly improved internal security situation, and robust economic indicators.

He was speaking at a Breakfast Meeting, hosted by Ikram Sehgal,Chairman of the Pathfinder Group on “ Pakistan - A land of Business Opportunities.”

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Miftah Ismail attended the meeting along with around a 100 participants of the World Economic Forum.

The Prime Minister said that investment incentives in Pakistan were diverse and business friendly.

“Our primary objective is to create an environment conducive for investment inflows. We offer a liberal investment policy, which includes 100 per cent equity ownership, full repatriation of capital, tax-breaks, and customs duty concessions on import of machinery and raw materials,” Nawaz Sharif told the investors.

“We offer prospects of co-production, joint ventures with local partners and joint marketing arrangements. The taxation regime is one of the lowest in the region and its collection is undertaken through a dedicated Large Taxpayers Unit. A multiplicity of tax concessions is available alongwith provisions of tax exemptions to specific businesses,” he said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the investors gathered in the Swiss town for the 46th World Economic Forum that Pakistan’s economic upturn was now being acknowledged and appreciated worldwide.

“Leading international publications, funds managers and agencies have made positive assessments of our economic turnaround,” he added.

He said that Pakistan was home to the 6th largest population in the world with 180 million people.

He said that Pakistan has 26th largest economy by purchasing power parity, 44th largest economy by real Gross Domestic Product and the 10th largest country in the world, according to the size of its labour force.

“With a thriving democracy, sound economic policies, a youthful population, abundant natural resources and its strategic location, Pakistan is poised to emerge as an economic powerhouse in the region. We are promoting accountable, responsible and transparent governance, bolstered by a free media, independent judiciary and a vibrant civil society.”

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that his government was committed to effectively tackling the whole range of economic, security and energy related challenges confronting Pakistan today.

He mentioned that a comprehensive National Action Plan to combat terrorism was being implemented. He said that the plan provides for a multi-pronged strategy, combining military action, law-enforcement operations, choking terrorist financing and countering the extremist narrative.

He said it has led to a significant improvement in the security situation and to a peaceful and stable environment wherein businesses can grow and flourish.

The Prime Minister said that his government has adopted a comprehensive agenda for real change to transform Pakistan into a favoured destination for business, trade and investment. “The Pakistan of 2016 is a confident and safe country, open for business, trade and investment. We assure you of ease of business

and healthy dividends on your investments in Pakistan,” he added.

He also informed the gathering that his government has launched`Vision Pakistan 2025, at the national level, which, he added, puts people’s economic development first.

He said that the government was also carrying forward a process of privatisation through strategic partnerships in the State-owned enterprises.

He said that new terminals and pipelines were being laid to import natural gas for homes and industries.

“Given our geo-strategic location, we are well placed to act as the prime movers for promoting regional connectivity,” he said.

He also shared with the investors the scale and number of regional projects launched recently and said these include the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, the Central Asia-South Asia (CASA) 1000 electricity project, and the Torkham-Jalalabad Road.

He said that CPEC embraces multiple infrastructure and development projects, including road infrastructure, energy generation and transmission, development of Gwadar port, up-gradation of Railways infrastructure, development of industrial and commercial zones, and medium and long term planning for country’s core economic sectors.

The first phase of CPEC projects is estimated to bring in an investment of $46 billion, primarily in the energy and the road and rail infrastructure sectors.

He said this mega project will serve as a “game-changer” in ushering in a new era of peace, cooperation and development in the region and beyond, as it envisages building advanced infrastructure, energy and communication networks, linking the western regions of China with Pakistan.

“I am confident that CPEC would revolutionise trade and investment in the region.”

Nawaz said he believed that future prosperity and economic development was largely linked with peace and security in the region.

Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan desires to forge cooperative relations with India, in the interest of the people of the two countries and of the region.

“We believe that dialogue is the only way forward to resolve the outstanding issues between our two countries, which would pave the way for fully realising the tremendous growth potential of South Asia.”

He said that Pakistan responded promptly and positively in welcoming the brief stop-over by Indian Prime Minister Modi to Pakistan.

Mentioning bilateral ties with Afghanistan, he said that Pakistan was sincerely committed to peace and stability in its western neighbour, and mentioned the co-hosting with Afghanistan, the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process with the theme “Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Connectivity in the Heart of Asia Region” in Islamabad.

“We also remain committed to the full implementation of the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement. We are willing to expand its coverage to include other Central Asian States,” he said.