Saturday July 02, 2022

PM Shehbaz Sharif to address pre-budget business conference today

The PM will take stock of recommendations presented by the participants for a prosperous economy with a rock-solid foundation for development

By Our Correspondent
June 07, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: The News/File
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will address a day-long Pre-budget Business Conference today (Tuesday) to explore avenues for consensus-based economic measures with all stakeholders on board.

In line with the prime minister’s vision of the Charter of Economy and an inclusive economic policy-making approach, the conference will bring together leaders from a wide range of sectors at a single platform for a vibrant and interactive dialogue. The PM will take stock of recommendations presented by the participants for a prosperous economy with a rock-solid foundation for development.

The conference will focus on the PM’s vision of a Pakistan where social, political and economic rights of people are ensured. Through mutual consultation, the conference will endeavour to find ways to end the economic strife of people and help the nation get back on the path to a better future. The day-long meaningful and substantive conference will feature industry leaders from agriculture, IT, textile, manufacturing and other sectors. The participants will assess Pakistan’s existing economic challenges and devise short, medium and long-term solutions.

The event will evaluate options and opportunities for employment and business for all and eliminating poverty and providing a decent standard of living for all the citizens. This initiative will also welcome recommendations from the participants for the budget 2022-23. Through an engagement process among stakeholders from the business community, it will also formulate proposals for the budget 2022-23.

Separately, in a meeting with a delegation of Japanese companies, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that his government was focusing on reinvigorating ties with Japan in the field of trade and investment.

He said hurdles would be removed in the way of smooth functioning of the investment infrastructure. The prime minister, in this regard, set up a committee to resolve the issues faced by the Japanese companies in Pakistan on priority basis and sought a report within a week.

PM Sharif termed Japan a close friend of Pakistan and lauded that the country was one of the largest donors to Pakistan in the public sector development. He said the generous Japanese donations amounted to $13 billion dollars in seven decades and contributed immensely to the development of Pakistan.

He mentioned that Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) played a positive role in providing Pakistan the technical support to grant aid and bilateral loans through the conduct of technical feasibility studies.

He recalled that in the 90s, several Japanese companies were operating in Pakistan and mentioned that in 2016, the agreement with automobile manufacturing Suzuki resulted in providing employment to thousands of people. The prime minister appreciated the manner Japan focused on improving the public development sector, adding that he was personally inspired by the principles of Japanese business.

He stressed immediate steps to exempt the Export Processing Zones from taxes. He invited the Japanese companies to invest in Pakistan’s diverse sectors including coal in Thar, iron ore in Chiniot, renewable energy, infrastructure, and public transport.

PM Sharif said Pakistan and Japan were celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022, and added that by promoting cooperation, Pakistan could benefit from Japan’s experience.

He said Pakistan attached great importance to its bilateral ties with Japan and wanted to further expand cooperation in various fields. The Japanese companies expressed full confidence in the business-friendly policies of the present government under the leadership of Sharif.

They also expressed keen interest in increasing investment in electric vehicle manufacturing, food processing, Special Economic Zones, textiles, telecommunications, and auto-parts manufacturing.

The delegation included the representatives from Japanese countries, Japan’s ambassador Mitsuhiro Wada, and the Commercial Attache of Japan. Federal ministers including Khurram Dastagir, Miftah Ismael, Makhdoom Murtaza Mehmood and the officials concerned attended the meeting.