ISLAMABAD (APP) - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday said the launching of Barclays Bank in Pakistan symbolizes the confidence of international financial community in the potential of country as an investors-friendly state. "I can assure that our economy possesses immense potential of growth in various sectors and an extremely bright future for investors", Gilani said while inaugurating the F-7 branch of Barclays Bank in a function here at the PM Secretariat. Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Ms. Sherry Rehman, CEO Global Retail and Commercial Banking (GRCB), Barclays, Frits Seegers and Country Head of Barclays in Pakistan, Mohsin Nathani were also present on the occasion. The Prime Minister said he was confident that the setting up of this international bank in Pakistan in the present economic situation will help steer the country on the path of progress. He said in the prevailing socio-economic situation in which the country was facing numerous challenges, the advent of Barclays is a positive sign for the country's economy. "We stand to benefit from the presence of one of the world's largest financial services institution, which is the second largest global bank registered in the London, New York and Tokyo stock exchanges, in terms of size", Gilani added. The Prime Minister said the presence of Barclays in Pakistan, which is a major global financial services provider, will help further strengthen and broaden the base of retail and commercial banking products in the country. He said the arrival of Barclays, which will bring its 300 years experience and expertise in banking services, will also help generate employment opportunities in this sector. Prime Minister Gilani hoped that with the dearth of poor-friendly banking services in the country, the opening of Barclays will cater to the financial needs of deprived segments. He urged the Barclays Bank, which is operating in over 50 countries with over 27 million customer base and will open 4 to 6 branches in Pakistan, to focus on the country's rural areas in their future expansion plans. The Prime Minister also appreciated the bank for their $ 30 million joint venture with UNICEF for the welfare and well-being of children in Pakistan. Earlier, Frits Seegers in his brief remarks on the occasion said the bank started its operations in the country as "we have faith in progressive economy of Pakistan." He also referred to the bank's $ 30 million investment in child labour elimination programme alongwith UNICEF and said, "We pledge to eradicate this social evil. "Over 5000 children will benefit from this programme, he added.