Economic take off changed world’s perception about Pakistan: Ahsan Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal the economic take off has changed the perception of the world about Pakistan.
Addressing business community at the Chambers of Commerce in Islamabad said the current government’s economic agenda will play a pivotal role in making Pakistan and economic super power.
He mentioned that the world is witnessing a transformation and it is imperative that countries prepare for this transformation.
He explained that there was a time when Pakistan’s economic growth reached 6% as a result of dollar inflow and slumped as soon as it stopped. The 60’s, 80’s and 9/11 witnessed this trend.
“In the 90’s Pakistan developed an economic plan that was later used by India, but unfortunately Pakistan became a victim of political instability. In 2013 we got another chance to uplift the economy. We will be able to achieve a 5% growth rate this year and will strive for a 6% next year,” he said.
Giving economic overview of the country Minister Ahsan Iqbal said: “In the last three years, the economy has seen a steady growth from 2.5% in 2013 to 4.8% last year, which is the highest growth rate in the last eight years. Our foreign reserves with $24 billion are the highest in the history of Pakistan. This economic take off has changed the perception of the world about Pakistan.”
Speaking of war against terrorism he said that Pakistan is yet to fully overcome terrorism but has made considerable progress and will continue to do so.
Expressing his views on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) he said that CPEC is opening new doors of opportunities for the people of Balochistan.
He updated the audience on the improved energy situation in Pakistan and said, from 18-20 hours daily, load shedding in 2013 has come down to 6-8 hours.
Ahsan Iqbal said: “The biggest ever investment in the country is being made in energy sector, which is US $35 billion out of US$46 billion portfolio of CPEC. In last 67 years we managed to produce only 17,000 MW energy while in only three years we have been able to add 11,000 MW electricity in the national grid.”
He said that all concerns about the western route have been proven wrong. He mentioned that the first trade convoy carrying goods for export through this route. He said that through CPEC Pakistan will be able to attract the kind of investment it could not in the past.