- Says government focused on creating a business-friendly environment
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, currently on a crucial visit to the United States to meet International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials, has said that attracting US foreign investments across all sectors of Pakistan’s economy is a top priority of the government.
The remarks, which come at a time when relations with the US seemingly in need of a reset button, were made while Ismail was speaking with a delegation of the US Pakistan Business Council (USPBC) at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC.
He said the US corporate sector has had a very long and productive relationship with Pakistan, read a statement from the Embassy of Pakistan.
Ismail said the government was focused on creating a business-friendly environment and would welcome all the suggestions.
Facing depleting foreign exchange reserves on account of debt repayments, Pakistan has attempted to attract international creditors and foreign direct investment (FDI) to meet its funding needs.
As per latest central bank figures, the country managed to fetch FDI amounting to $1.285 billion during July-March of FY22 as against $1.311 billion in the same month of the previous fiscal year (FY21), showing a decline of $26 million.
The finance minister, however, identified various areas in Pakistan’s economy, particularly agriculture, tech, pharmaceutical and health as well as digital banking where US companies could enhance investments in the South Asian country.
The meeting was attended by senior representatives of top 12 US investors in Pakistan including Abbott, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, The Resource Group (TRG), Visa, Cargill, North Shore Medical Labs and Excelerate Energy L.P, added the statement.
Esperanza Jelalian, President USPBC, said that a delegation would be visiting Pakistan soon to explore further opportunities for investment.
Jelalian assured USPBC will continue to engage with the government of Pakistan to seek mutually beneficial ways of enhancing cooperation.
Other participants from Pakistan side included Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister for State for Finance, Dr Reza Baqir, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Secretary Finance, Deputy Governor State Bank, Additional Secretary Finance and senior Embassy officials.