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The Saudis expressed interest in investing in Pakistan
Islamabad, Feb 17th, 2001

Chief executive General Pervez Musharraf has blamed political polarisation in the 1990s for Pakistan's economic decline, and said the present administration has introduced structural reforms to eliminate past ills and boost the economy, officials said on yesterday.

"My government is committed to making Pakistan business- and investor-friendly and it will ensure continuity of policy," the chief executive told a group of top businessmen from Saudi Arabia yesterday. The Saudis expressed interest in investing in information technology, engineering, agriculture and chemicals. Musharraf told the group that Pakistan has a special relation with Saudi Arabia, and asked the businessmen to study prospects for investment.

He described structural reforms, and declared that vested interests would not be allowed to threaten national interests. Musharraf described the structural reforms undertaken in the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) and the Customs. "The investment policy has been liberalized and we endeavor to provide a level playing field for both domestic and foreign investors," he said.

Referring to the disputes between the government and business that plagued the economy in the past, the chief executive said efforts would be made to prevent this from recurring. "If there are any, they will be resolved through consultations and negotiations as we have done in the case of Hubco."

The Saudi businessmen replied that they felt Pakistan's image had undergone a positive change and it was poised for progress. "Pakistan has tremendous potential and the element of transparency is visible. The business community always looks for opportunities in a country where there is security of interests and decision making is transparent and expeditious," they said.

Source: Gulf News 

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19 February 2001 02:57:16 PM

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