Welcome news for Pakistan from UK on the economic front
In London today, senior figures from London's financial and capital markets met with interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar to discuss their strong interest in investment opportunities within Pakistan.
In June, Pakistan established the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), a collaborative forum involving both civil and military components, aimed at expediting decision-making and encouraging foreign investment. This council has identified agriculture, mining, information technology, defense production, and energy as its priority sectors for investment.
Pakistan, facing a balance of payments crisis, requires substantial foreign exchange to address its trade deficit and repay international debts in the current fiscal year. During his recent visit to New York for the UN General Assembly, Kakar engaged with business leaders and stakeholders to advocate for a more conducive business environment in Pakistan, emphasizing its potential for foreign direct investment across various sectors.
Following the meeting with prominent investment firms such as Fidelity International Limited (FIL), Wellington Management, Ashmore, Jefferies International, Redwheel Capital, Switex Industrial SA, Oxford Frontier Capital, GuarantCo, JP Morgan, Kalrock Capital, and UBL UK, the Prime Minister's Office revealed that these investors expressed a keen interest in exploring promising investment opportunities in Pakistan's financial and capital markets.
This underscores the growing mutual interest in expanding economic collaboration. Prime Minister Kakar briefed the delegation on Pakistan's current economic landscape, highlighting government measures taken to improve the external account. He mentioned that recent administrative actions had strengthened the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar, instilling optimism for economic stability.
Additionally, he noted positive indicators, including inflows from institutions like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and friendly nations, contributing to reduced inflation, stabilized reserves, and a resurgence in industrial growth. Kakar also discussed the potential for foreign direct investment in key sectors of Pakistan and highlighted the positive impact of the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the IMF, agreed upon in June.
He emphasized economic improvements such as reduced inflation and improved trade due to the removal of import restrictions, along with fiscal measures for monetary support and medium-term inflation targets.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister emphasized Pakistan's pro-investment efforts and introduced the Special Investment Facilitation Council as an initiative led by himself, aimed at streamlining investment processes, attracting investments in critical sectors, and simplifying the business landscape to foster long-term growth.