On behalf of the government, I would like to congratulate Standard Chartered Bank on the occasion that marks its 150 years in Pakistan. My best wishes to Standard Chartered for having traversed its journey to become what it is today - the largest foreign bank with the longest operating history in the country.
During this period the bank has contributed greatly to Pakistan's economic growth and development. Traditionally, the UK has been the second biggest investor in Pakistan with over one hundred British firms setting up shop here to take advantage of our skilled manpower, huge consumer market, competitive manufacturing environment and abundant natural resources to name a few. These frims have been conducting substantive profitable business offering attractive dividends to their shareholders and Standard Chartered Bank is no exception.
The British lender made the largest ever foreign direct investment in Pakistan by a bank when it acquired Union Bank in 2006 as part of its growth strategy. Since then, it has been leading the way in innovative financial solutions for the benefit of the people of Pakistan.
I wish to reiterate that the government stands committed to supporting the development of the Bank and making proactive reforms for sustainable economic growth. I also appreciate its lead I social in responsibility efforts particularly in the field of education and in tackling avoidable blindness. The 150th anniversary is certainly a memorable milestone for the Bank and I am confident that Standard Chartered Bank will continue to be a force for contribution to the economy and community in Pakistan for years to come.