Govt em­pow­er­ing youth to serve as driv­ers for growth: PM

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Prime Min­is­ter Muham­mad Nawaz Sharif Fri­day said the China Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC) was not mere a route, but was an "eco­nomic rev­o­lu­tion for the en­tire re­gion" and would strengthen economies of the re­gional coun­tries.

He was talk­ing to Bill Win­ters, Group Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Stan­dard Char­tered who called on him here on the side­lines of the meet­ing of the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum. Bill Win­ters said the CPEC would at­tract the bank­ing sec­tor as with the ini­ti­a­tion of the se­cond phase of the pro­ject, a num­ber of in­dus­trial and eco­nomic zones would be es­tab­lished. He said his bank has al­ready started work in this re­gard.

Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif said his govern­ment has com­plete faith in the pri­vate sec­tor and its con­tri­bu­tion in growth of the na­tional econ­omy. "We are fa­cil­i­tat­ing the pri­vate sec­tor through a lib­eral eco­nomic regime," he said. He said coun­try's for­eign ex­change re­serves were at their high­est level and were in­creas­ing at a fast pace, ow­ing to the con­fi­dence of in­vestors and the ro­bust econ­omy. Bill Win­ters said his bank has an "over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive view of econ­omy in Pak­istan where in­vest­ment and cap­i­tal were grow­ing."

He said Stan­dard Char­tered Bank was one of the big­gest con­duits in Pak­istan for over­seas cap­i­tal. He said keep­ing in view the pos­i­tive trends in Pak­istan's econ­omy, he was look­ing up for dou­bling his busi­ness in Pak­istan. "Fast growth of Pak­istan econ­omy is one of the ma­jor at­trac­tions for for­eign in­vestors," he said and added that his bank was in­vest­ing in power, in­fra­struc­ture, PIA and other sec­tors of econ­omy. Win­ters said Pak­istan was of­fer­ing ex­cit­ing busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties to for­eign in­vestors and the bank­ing sec­tor.

Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif also held a meet­ing with Azer­bai­jan Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev, on the side­lines of the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum (WEF) in Davos, spokesman of the for­eign min­istry here said in a state­ment.

Fed­eral Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Ishaq Dar, Com­merce Min­is­ter Khur­ram Dasta­gir and Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Prime Min­is­ter on For­eign Affairs, Tariq Fatemi, were also present dur­ing the meet­ing. In their first in­ter­ac­tion the two lead­ers dis­cussed a wide ar­ray of bi­lat­eral and in­ter­na­tional is­sues, the spokesman said.

Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif un­der­scored the need for en­hanc­ing bi­lat­eral trade, im­prov­ing con­nec­tiv­ity and strength­en­ing de­fence ties with Azer­bai­jan. Pak­istan and Azer­bai­jan al­ready en­joy a ro­bust part­ner­ship with strong co­op­er­a­tion in many ar­eas. The two coun­tries also sup­port each other on Nagorno-Karabakh and Kash­mir is­sues. Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif ex­tended an in­vi­ta­tion to Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev and the first lady to visit Pak­istan.

Nawaz Sharif Fri­day said his govern­ment was trans­form­ing its hu­man cap­i­tal into a driver for growth and de­vel­op­ment by em­pow­er­ing its youth and pro­vid­ing them loans to help them start busi­ness and gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment. The Prime Min­is­ter in an au­di­ence with Queen Max­ima of Nether­lands here at the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum Congress Cen­tre, said his govern­ment was work­ing to pro­vide the youth, par­tic­u­larly the women, greater ac­cess to education, eco­nomic re­sources, and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, to en­able them be­come equal part­ners in na­tional eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

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