Govt taking steps for sustained economic growth: Khurram
Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan has said the government was taking all possible steps to ensure sustained and inclusive economic growth based on justice and equality.
The government has planned to set up first Land Ports Authority for establishing land ports near Wagha and Tourkham borders. Opening of border with India at another point, most likely Monna-Bao, is also under consideration as the government believes in enhancing regional trade and economic liberalization, he said.
The Minister was speaking on the Prime Minister's Vision-2025 during an interactive session with representatives of joint business councils/associations of Pakistan and various other countries here late Thursday evening. The diplomats of different countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Germany and United Kingdom were also present.
Khurram Dastagir said, "The vision2025 is to focus on very talented people especially the youth of Pakistan. Our vision is ' People First' and we try to create oppor- tunities for all Pakistanis." The vision-2025 will prove as an agent of social and economic change in the country, he noted. He said energy crisis and extremism are the two main barriers on the way of executing the vision-2025. However, he said, thedemocratic government is fighting terrorism as after terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar it has become a more serious challenge for the country.
He appealed to the people to support the elected government in fighting this menace because it has very bad effect on the economy and development of the country. He PML-led government is also taking practical short, medium and long term measures for overcoming the energy crisis at the earliest. The government's energy plan includes coal-based power generation and different energy mix. First liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal at Port Qasim will be operational in April 2015 and then work on second LNG terminal will be started, he informed.
Engr. Khurram said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his team are also focusing on trade , investment and connectivity. He said the government believes in exports-led economic growth and the target is 20 per cent annual growth in exports. He said the government in cooperation with other stakeholders will try its best to cut the cost of doing business.
The Federal Minister for Commerce said the government alsogives great importance to regional cooperation for strengthening economy and for development. He underlined the need for collective wisdom and efforts for growing Pakistan.
To a question from a participant, the Minister said the role of judiciary for enforcing contracts is very important for
economic growth. To another query, he said that for increasing regional tradethe government will sign TIR conventions. The summary in this regard has been submitted for Cabinet's approval.
Answering a query he said the government has initiated for second free trade agreement (FTA-II) with China which will be negotiated thoroughly independently from the first FTA. The FTA- II would carry better terms and conditions for Pakistan. Chinese are agreed that Chinese concessions under FTA-II would be broader than those from Pakistan, he said.