Federal Minister Aurangzeb, met with the members of (USPBC) on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington D.C.

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Washington DC: The Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue, Mr. Muhammad Aurangzeb, met with the members of U.S. Pakistan Business Council (USPBC) on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington D.C. He appreciated the important role of U.S. corporate sector in strengthening Pak-U.S. economic ties. He said that despite the challenges, the government was committed to implementing difficult but necessary reforms to ensure long-term economic growth and macro-economic stability. He highlighted key initiatives, including the Investment Policy 2023, aimed at attracting more foreign investments across various sectors in Pakistan to enhance investors’ confidence and streamline project implementation, particularly in priority sectors such as agriculture, IT, energy, and minerals & mining. He elaborated that the new policy would simplifying business regulations, provide foreign investors freedom to repatriate their profits abroad in their own currency and receive special protection. He also apprised them of government’s efforts to digitalize the economy and expand the tax base to ensure sustainable economic growth. USPBC members welcomed the steps taken by the government of Pakistan to improve the ease of doing business and assured the Minister of USPBC’s continued support to enhance bilateral trade and investment cooperation.

In his meeting with Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Secretary-General, H.E. Mohamed Nasheed, former President of the Maldives, Finance Minister highlighted Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate- induced disasters, drawing attention to the 2022 floods in Pakistan, which affected 33 million people and caused losses of approx. US$ 15.2 billion. He emphasized the need for developed economies to scale up their efforts to provide additional financing, technology transfer, and capacity-building assistance to developing countries, including Pakistan. He also highlighted Pakistan’s pro-active role in mobilizing global support for Loss and Damage Fund at the COP 28. Mr. Nasheed acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts in addressing Climate Change and agreed on the need for providing more resources to developing countries, enabling them to respond effectively to the climate challenge.

Finance Minister, in his meeting with influential Pakistani American businessmen and tech entrepreneurs, lauded the important role of Pakistani diaspora in the socio-economic development of Pakistan. He termed them as bridge-builders in deepening trade and investment ties between. Pakistan and the United States. The Minister highlighted various initiatives taken by the government to improve business-friendly environment and attract foreign investment in Pakistan. He specifically highlighted the potential of Pakistan in the IT sector as it hosted a community of over a million freelancers, ranked 3rd globally in the freelance market and annually produced over 75,000 IT graduates from 250+ recognized universities. The Minister invited the participants to capitalize on the growing opportunities in Pakistan in key sectors of agriculture, IT, mining and energy. The attendees appreciated the government’s efforts to improve the investment climate in Pakistan and expressed their keen interest in taking Pak-U.S. economic ties to a new level.

Finance Minister also attended a Seminar on “Opportunities and Challenges for the Pakistani Economy through 2024 and Beyond” hosted by the Atlantic Council. In his address, he highlighted the prevailing economic conditions in Pakistan and measures being taken by the government to put the economy on a higher growth trajectory by facilitating exports, increasing remittances, expanding the tax-base, improving ease of doing business, digitalizing economy and attracting FDI into the country. Positive trends in the industrial activity, better agriculture outlook, and improvements in the Composite Leading Indicators (CLI) of Pakistan’s major export markets were all signs that economy was on a recovery path. The implementation of reforms under the 9th IMF Stand-By Agreement (SBA) provided Pakistan with much-needed macro-economic stability. He said that Pakistan was prioritizing investment in key areas of agriculture, IT, mining and energy to enhance productivity and ensure sustainable growth. He invited international stakeholders to become close partners in Pakistan’s journey towards economic prosperity and development.

The media engagements of Finance Minister included interviews with Wall Street Journal and Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Finance Minister is leading Pakistan’s delegation in the IMF / World Bank’s 2024 Spring Meetings being held in Washington DC. Other delegates include Mr. Imdadullah Bosal, Finance Secretary, Dr. Kazim Niaz, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Mr. Jameel Ahmed, Governor State Bank of Pakistan and Mr. Adil Akbar Khan, Senior Joint Secretary, Economic Affairs Division.