ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Finance, Mohammad Ishaq Dar along with representatives of other countries that signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) had a meeting with Chinese President, Xi Jinping in Beijing. 

According to a press statement issued by Finance Ministry here, President Xi Jinping on the occasion renewed his commitment to visit Pakistan and said he looked forward to undertaking the visit.

He felicitated Finance Minister Dar and representatives of other countries on signing the memorandum and said it reflected all the parties’ aspiration, determination and action for unity and cooperation in pursuit of common development. 

Xi said that he hoped all sides concerned would make concerted efforts to make the AIIB a financing platform of infrastructure construction featuring equality, inclusiveness and high efficiency, and multilateral development bank that meets the demand of all countries in the region.  

Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar also congratulated the Chinese President on signing of the MoU on establishment of AIIB and added that government and people of Pakistan eagerly looked forward to his visit.  The Minister said the AIIB would complement the efforts of the existing multilateral development banks, the statement added.

He said in Pakistan the need for developing new infrastructure is immense, adding they were happy that the bank would provide financing support for meeting infrastructure deficits in different Asian countries and help improve connectivity within the region.  He also conveyed to the Chinese President and the people of China, the best wishes of the Pakistani leadership and people.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister of Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Sunday met Chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Jiang Jianqing in Beijing and discussed investment opportunities for the bank in various sectors including infrastructure development of Gwadar.

According to a message received here from Beijing, Chairman Jiang Jianqing expressed his gratitude to the government of Pakistan for bestowing him with the Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam award.

He said that he was honoured and pledged support to strengthening Pak-China relationship.

Minister Ishaq Dar appreciated ICBC’s continued support and expansion of its operations by opening up new bank branches in Pakistan.  

He said that being the 6th largest in terms of population in the world, having sizeable middle class, a vibrant consumer market and owing to its geographic location, Pakistan was an ideal location for enterprises eyeing the regional market.  He said Pakistan ranked better in ease of doing business index among its neighbours.  Together with a liberal investment regime and an enormous natural resource endowment, Pakistan offered promising prospects in assuring attractive investment returns in various sectors including energy, power, mining, agriculture and infrastructure, he added.

He hoped Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s partnering with enterprises in developing the potential would make it a mutually win-win situation for all parties. Talking about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor he said both the countries had agreed to a profile of Early Harvest Projects. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) could seize the investment opportunities thus available.

 He pointed out that infrastructure development of Gwadar was one key area where the bank’s cooperation could be useful.  He said Pakistan’s policy regime in the power sector was very rewarding. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) may therefore consider supporting the Chinese entrepreneurs who are interested in installing power stations as IPPs under the rubric of agreed EHP of CPEC.

(Ishaq Dar’s interview with Global Times after signing The of Understanding for AIIB on page 9.)