DAVOS : – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said Pakistan with a huge market of 200 million people, an annual economic growth of around 6 percent and a strengthening democracy, was open to business and investment in diverse areas.
The prime minister expressed these views while addressing a press conference along with his ministers for foreign affairs, information and broadcasting, information technology, and national healthcare here in Davos, Switzerland.
He also mentioned the huge economic activity generated by the ongoing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in the country under China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.
The prime minister also mentioned the strengthening political situation in the country and said Pakistan was making history by completing a decade of democratic process.
To a question about growing Pak-China ties vis-a-vis the relations with the US, he said Pakistan had longstanding relations with both China and the United States, which the country considered very important and would continue.
“We are a country where warm winds are blowing from the East and the West,” he remarked.
He said the CPEC was not a Pakistan-specific project, as it would benefit the region and was open to other world countries as well.
To another question, the prime minister said Pakistan had highlighted Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision of connectivity and linkages at every forum. This OBOR initiative would benefit the region and the world in the decades and millenniums to come, he added.
Prime Miniser Abbasi appreciated the theme of this year’s World Economic Forum “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World” and said Pakistan was covering the theme in its economic endeavours.
The minister said Pakistan had been fighting the war on terrorism for the past 35 years and the country had achieved successes during the last four years in that war. She said it was also a challenge for the youth who were confronted with perception about Pakistan across the world and now the government was using media for that matter and also regaining and reviving the indigenous narrative by engaging the youth into broadcast, media and film industry.
She said the government would announce its first film policy to engage the youth into the entertainment and broadcast industry by using them as a tool to change the image of Pakistan across the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Information Technology Ms Anusha Rehman Khan said the world had witnessed a phenomenal growth in Pakistan’s IT & telecom sector during the last three years because the government had accorded the highest priority to the development of ICTs.
She said technology was a tool to provide employment opportunities to the youth. “We are adding one million 3G and 4G customers every year and its big part is young population.” Pakistan, she said, ranked fourth in freelancing and the government wanted to take it to number one position in that field.
The minister said Pakistan’s software exports were $300 million in 2013, which now had reached $3.3billion in the last four years and the target by 2020 was $10billion.
She said Pakistan was a huge and attractive market for foreign investors, which was producing millions of IT professionals every year, besides a source of human resource development for the world.