“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