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