ISLAMABAD  - Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Thursday said that government would address the concerns of the local industry regarding granting non-discriminatory market access for Pakistan’s exports to India.

Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, chairing a meeting of Committee examining trade with India, has said that it should be ensured that all the concessions are on reciprocal basis and concerns of our industry should be taken care in the future arrangement. He said that import from India should substitute our import from other countries, which will save valuable foreign exchange. He emphasised that there should be meaningful market access and level playing field for Pakistan’s exports to India. The Committee will present its detailed report to the Cabinet for consideration.

Secretary Commerce Qasim Muhammad Niaz gave a detailed presentation on the broader framework of the roadmap to move ahead on non-discriminatory market access for Pakistan’s exports to India. He briefed the Committee on the pros and cons of normalisation of trade relations with India and the benefits Pakistan will accrue in export of textile and manufacture goods. He also informed the Committee that all stakeholders have been taken into confidence and concerns of our industry will be addressed in the process. Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan briefed the Committee on the progress made on addressing Pakistan’s genuine concerns during his last visit to India. 

SAPM on Foreign Affairs, Tariq Fatmi, Chairman FBR, Tariq Bajwa, Zafar Mehmood former Secretary Commerce, Chairman Nestle Pakistan, Syed Yawar Ali, Advisor to Finance Ministry, Rana Asad Amin and senior officials of the concerned ministries also attended the Committee meeting. 

Meanwhile, the economy of Pakistan is showing positive signs due to structural reforms introduced by the present Government and we have a very clear roadmap to facilitate Foreign Direct Investment in the country, said Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

He said this in a meeting with delegation of international businessmen and investors accompanied by Special Envoy to PM for Overseas Investment, Ambassador Javed Malik. The Finance Minister briefed the investors about the business opportunities available in the multiple sectors. He said that Pakistan is the most attractive place for investment and the business potential is immense for international investors.

He said that the positive economic indicators in the last seven months of the current fiscal year and expected growth rate of over 4pc will lay down an economic outlook, attractive for investors. The Finance Minister mentioned that with the 17pc increase in the revenue collection in the last seven months the space for the Federal Government and Provinces will be increased considerably for investment in the development sector. He underlined that the growth rate in industrial sector is phenomenal and we are looking for 6-7pc growth rate in the next three years.

He said that the energy sector and hydro carbon exploration are the priority areas as the country needs to meet its energy requirements. He said that the international investors will be facilitated on the fast track to do businesses in the country. He added that it will be win-win for both Pakistan which needs FDI and the international investors who are looking for reasonable returns to their investments.

Ambassador Javed Malik informed the Finance Minister that the Group had very useful meetings in Pakistan and the idea is to bring together a group of investors for investment in development of energy sector as an engine of growth.

Richard Quessnal, Chairman, Colt Resources Inc. said that they have the intention to invest over $4 billion in mining sector of Pakistan. Moreover, they have the capacity to invest $1 billion per annum for the next fifty years in Pakistan. He added that Colt Resources will build partnership from generation to generation and focus on transfer of technology to Pakistan.  The Investors, in their comments, said that the general message they received in Pakistan is positive and they are impressed by the investment opportunities in the country. They added that they want to be true partners with Corporate Social Responsibility and looking forward to harness the opportunities available in the country.

Alun Richards, Chief Investment Office, Shahal Khan, Royal Partners Energy, Nicolas Perrault Director Calvalley Petroleum, Pedro Costa, Managing Director, Yazit yusuff, Head of Capital Markets, RHB Islamic Bank, Haji Malik Shah, Colt Resources, Waleed Mushtaq, Pakistan International Business & Investment Council and Economic Advisor Finance Ministry Rana Asad Amin were also present in the meeting.