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Sharif for withdrawal of travel advisories on Pakistan, access to US markets

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged the United States (US) for the withdrawal of travel advisories on Pakistan and granting access to Pakistani products to its markets, ARY News reported.

In his address with the US-Pakistan Business Council in Washington, he highlighted how Pakistan has emerged as an attractive and thriving market for business and investment opportunities, since the last time he had spoken to very chamber in 2013.

“Pakistan has greatly improved its internal security situation, as well as achieved effective governance and public service delivery, resulting in robust economic indicators, in a short span of time,” Sharif said.

“We are confident that the improved security situation in Pakistan would lead to withdrawal of travel advisories on Pakistan.”

Pakistan has one of the most attractive investment regimes in the world, allowing foreign investors 100% repatriation of profits and easy convertibility into foreign exchange, he noted.

“Numerous investment opportunities are available in the energy, consumer goods, food & agriculture, housing, health care, education; finance Services, capital markets, information technology, oil & gas and infrastructure sectors of Pakistan.”

“No region has lagged as far behind in the world today as South Asia. To lift our people out of poverty, we must first of all establish peace in the region,” said the Pakistan PM. “We, therefore, seek good relations with all its neighbors.”

I firmly believe that shared prosperity is real prosperity. We cannot maintain peace within, unless there is peace without, he said. This is what under-pins my approach to a peaceful and friendly neighborhood.

Sharif said the US remains one of the most important economic and trading partners of Pakistan, adding that major US companies have invested billions of dollars in Pakistan and the US also remains a major destination for Pakistani exports.

Call on the PM by US treasury secretary

United States Treasury Secretary, Jack J. Lew called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday, at Blair House, Washington DC.

During the meeting, the prime minister highlighted the positive indicators of Pakistan economy which have been duly recognized by independent international institutions including rating agencies. He also expressed his government’s resolve to implement reforms in energy, taxation, privatization and other sectors.

Secretary Jack J. Lew congratulated Pakistan for successfully implementing the government’s economic reform agenda which has resulted in macro-economic stability, rebuilding of foreign exchange reserves, and continuing reforms in the energy sector.

He also expressed the desire to deepen economic cooperation between the two countries. It was agreed to continue working together in invigorating economic relationship between the United States and Pakistan and combating terrorist financing.

Meeting with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director IMF

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF also called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday. She congratulated the Prime Minister and his economic team for taking important steps towards macro-economic stability and leading a difficult reform process.

The prime minister appreciated the role of IMF and said that we value our engagement with the IMF in assisting Pakistan with policy advice. He lauded Ms. Christine Lagarde for providing excellent leadership to an important international financial institution.

PM Sharif underlined the government’s policies aimed at structural, energy, fiscal and monetary reforms in the short and medium term which have led to improved economic indicators for Pakistan.

He briefly touched on the legislative progress the government has made in the financial, taxation and other relevant fields. The premier said that his government has taken decisive steps in combating terrorism and it is helping to provide a conducive environment for the investors.

Ms. Christine Lagarde appreciated the economic and financial reform process successfully being spearheaded by the government of Pakistan. She congratulated Pakistan for completing the 8th review under IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program.

She also highlighted the positive results as a consequence of the government’s current economic policies.

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