KARACHI: Hammad Azhar, Minister for Energy, on Thursday said the government was exploring options to swap debt for environmental protection related projects after issuing Green Bonds.He was speaking...
KARACHI: Hammad Azhar, Minister for Energy, on Thursday said the government was exploring options to swap debt for environmental protection related projects after issuing Green Bonds.
He was speaking at the virtual “World Leaders’ Investment Summit”, one of the top level events of 7th World Investment Forum (WIF).
Speaking on behalf of Prime Minister, the minister underscored the importance of investment saying “investment is a vital component of economic growth and development, especially in the developing countries and FDI (foreign direct investment) inflows are more necessary now than ever”.
He pointed out that investors required legitimate guarantees to mitigate risks and secure reasonable returns and proposed deployment of public finance as a means to de-risk private investments and said that Pakistan should prioritise investment flows to areas aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Azhar suggested that multilateral development banks (World Bank, Asian Development Bank), development aid agencies and private sector could play a major role in mitigating potential risks, creating significant impact in terms of human development, poverty alleviation, improved public health, better education, job creation, and livelihoods.
The minister proposed an integrated sustainable infrastructure facility under the UN umbrella for sustainable infrastructure to harmonise investment policies, provide assistance to developing countries for preparation of projects and feasibility studies, and to access financing both from public and private sources.
He agreed that developing countries, as recipients of investment flows, needed to provide an enabling investment environment and a fair and balanced regulatory framework.
He said Pakistan had made notable progress on the investment front and had been ranked among the top ten improvers in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2020.
He also spoke about the Special Economic Zones and Technology Parks, being set up in the country and invited the global investors to avail a range of investment opportunities in infrastructure, energy, communications, technology and other areas in Pakistan.
Ms Fareena Mazhar, Secretary Board of Investment (BoI) underscored Pakistan was going to re-negotiate all the Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) on the new BIT template and that there was a positive initial response received from the BIT partners.
She said BOI was working on reforming the overall investment policy and legal framework, for which UNCTAD was ready to assist.
Pakistan, with the assistance of UNCTAD and other local and international experts
of repute, had developed the new BIT template to allow and protect the genuine and sustainable investments in the country, she added.