Dar op­ti­mistic....

Pakistan Observer - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

“build­ing on these gains, fur­ther progress, in­clud­ing in the area of struc­tural re­forms, is needed to gen­er­ate strong and in­clu­sive growth and make the econ­omy more re­silient and com­pet­i­tive.”

There are some com­men­ta­tors that think that ter­ror­ism is still a ma­jor risk for the coun­try on both an eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal level. Dar said that a gloomy out­look on Pak­istan was un­fair as de­vel­op­ing coun­tries faced the same risks. “The ter­ror­ism risks are also in west­ern coun­tries and it’s a global war, we have to fight it to­gether and Pak­istan has played a very proac­tive role at a huge cost to its Ex­che­quer.”

Fi­nance Min­is­ter, Se­na­tor Mo­ham­mad Ishaq Dar, par­tic­i­pated as pan­elist in the sem­i­nar on “Asia- Europe Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion: Fos­ter­ing Greater Trade and In­vest­ment” on the side­lines of ADB’s An­nual Board of Gover­nors Meet­ing here.

Other panelists were Mr. Liqun Jin, Pres­i­dent AIIB, Mr. Ul­rich Schroder, CEO KFW, Mr. Kae Yanag­i­sawa, Vice Pres­i­dent JICA, and Mr. Stephen P. Groff, Vice Pres­i­dent ADB. Mr. Toby Fildes, Man­ag­ing Ed­i­tor of Emerg­ing Mar­kets, mod­er­ated the sem­i­nar.

The Min­is­ter spoke on is­sues re­lat­ing to the slow­down in world trade growth im­pact­ing Asia- Europe eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion; scal­ing up of eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion with Euro­pean coun­tries and its di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion for mu­tual ben­e­fit. The Min­is­ter em­pha­sized that Europe and Asia must re­view their ex­ist­ing ar­range­ments, open up mar­kets by cut­ting down on tar­iff and non- tar­iff bar­ri­ers. On in­fra­struc­ture fi­nanc­ing, the mul­ti­lat­eral de­vel­op­ment banks must come up with new in­stru­ments e. g. bonds to bridge this gap. He also dwelled upon in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights and ex­pand­ing e- com­merce.

Dar, held a meet­ing with the Fi­nance Min­is­ter of Afghanistan Eklil Ah­mad Hakimi on the side­lines of the ADB’s An­nual Board of Gover­nors Meet­ing in Frank­furt, Ger­many.

The two Fi­nance Min­is­ters dis­cussed mat­ters re­lat­ing to bi­lat­eral eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and progress with re­gard to the mu­tual agree­ments reached dur­ing the last Joint Min­is­te­rial Com­mis­sion meet­ing in Is­lam­abad.

Min­is­ter Dar as­sured the Afghan coun­ter­part that progress is be­ing made on the agreed ac­tions and the bi­lat­eral projects shall be com­pleted ex­pe­di­tiously. He also re­it­er­ated Pak­istan’s sup­port for peace and pros­per­ity in Afghanistan.

Mr. Hakimi, in­vited the Fi­nance Min­is­ter to Afghanistan for the next ses­sion of Joint Min­is­te­rial Com­mis­sion to be held in Kabul.

He said that the re­gional projects i. e. CASA- 1000 and Turk­menistan- AfghanistanPak­istan- In­dia ( TAPI) Gas Pipe­line are im­mensely im­por­tant for the re­gional coun­tries and joint ef­forts should be made for their ex­pe­di­tious im­ple­men­ta­tion. He also sought Pak­istan’s sup­port as found­ing mem­ber of AIIB for Afghanistan’s mem­ber­ship. He also in­vited the Fi­nance Min­is­ter to visit on the oc­ca­sion of in­au­gu­ra­tion of Torkham- Jalal­abad Road

The Fi­nance Min­is­ter ac­cepted the in­vi­ta­tion ex­tended by Mr. Hakimi and stated that mu­tu­ally con­ve­nient dates for the JMC will be agreed by the two sides for the pur­pose. The Min­is­ter also as­sured Mr. Hakimi of Pak­istan’s sup­port for Afghanistan’s mem­ber­ship of AIIB. The Fi­nance Min­is­ter was ac­com­pa­nied by Mr. Tariq Ba­jwa, Sec­re­tary EAD and other mem­bers of Pak­istan’s del­e­ga­tion.— INP

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