Revitalization of national economy topmost priority: Qureshi

Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the topmost priority of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf government is to revitalize the national economy. Addressing the Business Leaders Summit here on Wednesday, he said when Prime Minister Imran Khan ascended to power six months ago, he inherited a lot of challenges, including corruption, flight of capital and other socio-economic ills, which had to be overcome. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) economic team under the leadership of Finance Minister Assad Umar has taken many steps for economic uplift of the country during the first six months of the government. He said that the PTI has been elected on the agenda of change and the people will see the change by the end of the tenure of the present government. Qureshi said the government is taking steps to create investment opportunities in the country and these steps have already paid the dividends. He said the United Arab Emirates is taking keen interest in making investment in different sectors in Pakistan while Qatar also plans to invest in the country’s food processing industry. He said the government plans to make Pakistan a hub of business and investment in the region. The Foreign Minister thanked the European Foreign Ministers and parliamentarians for supporting Pakistan in securing GSP Plus facility for its exports. The Foreign Minister said our government focused on economic diplomacy and to increase bilateral trade as Pakistan is situated at a geo strategic location. He said we are increasing bilateral trade with Iran, China and other countries of the region. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said China is our strategic partner and we want to transform this relationship into an economic partnership.  He said we are negotiating with China to help Pakistan in the agriculture sector and in establishing of economic zones. The Foreign Minister said Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan and government is facilitating peace process in the country. Speaking about relations with India, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan assuming the charge offered New Delhi a hand of friendship  and asked for Foreign Ministers meeting at the sidelines of UN General Assembly to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries through dialogue. Foreign Minister said Pakistan has taken several peace initiatives and Kartarpur Corridor was one of them. However, he said India never responded sincerely to Pakistan’s peace overtures. Addressing the Business Summit, Finance Minister Asad Umer said the government is striving to bring reforms in the institutions. He said the best professionals are being appointed in the institutions. The Finance Minister said we are in the process of applying IT solutions to check tax evasion. In his remarks, Adviser on Commerce Razzaq Dawood said the process of industrialization has been started in the country and the results of our policies to that effect will be visible in the coming months. He said our imports have already compressed as a result of our policies and these will be further compressed. Razzaq Dawood said we are also in the process of finalizing a strategy to remove bottle necks in the promotion of small and medium sector enterprises.