SHANGHAI: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday reiterated his resolve to steer Pakistan out of the current economic challenges and expressed his keenness to learn from the Chinese model of taking its 700 million people out of poverty through long term strategies, and economic and governance reforms.
Addressing a ‘Pakistan Trade and Investment Conference’ here, he invited the Chinese investors and the overseas Pakistanis with ample professional experience and capital for exploring the God-gifted huge potential in Pakistan.
The prime minister assured provision of complete facilitation to the investors and businessmen, and guaranteed that all impediments in doing the business would be removed.
Lauding the Chinese leadership for long-term economic policies, he said in the past, Pakistan kept on repeating the mistakes without learning from them.
The prime minister also announced to launch in the next week, a poverty alleviation plan in Pakistan, besides separately, forming a high powered think-tank to float suggestions and proposals for the government in running the affairs of the country and steering it out of the economic woes.
He opined that the chief executive and the ministers had so many things on their tables, so a separate think-tank on the pattern of Chinese model would provide them with valuable input.
The prime minister while drawing attention of the participants towards the vast untapped mineral resources and the youth potential of Pakistan, said a conducive environment would be provided, so that the people should opt to invest.
Ease of doing business could be possible only in a society, if the cancer of corruption was removed, he said, citing corruption as the main hurdle in doing business. Small and medium businesses could not thrive in a corrupt society, he cautioned.
The prime minister said in China, during the last five years, 400 ministerial people had been investigated for allegations of corruption. Contrary to it, in Pakistan, there was lack of political will to put the crooks behind bars in the past.
Expressing the strong resolve of his government, he said they would tackle corruption with an iron hand and do everything to strengthen the country’s watchdogs against corruption.
He reiterated that business-friendly environment free from corruption would be provided in Pakistan.
The prime minister also regretted that in Pakistan, there were a number of under-performing sectors, underlining that every sector could perform and move forward for achieving the highest annual growth by adopting the Chinese practices of imparting proper skills and training to the vibrant 100 million youth.
He said out of the huge mineral rich swaths of the country, only ten percent had been explored.
The prime minister also expressed the desire to learn from the Chinese expertise in agriculture, horticulture and fishery sectors. He reiterated that the relationship with China was very beneficial for Pakistan.
He also apprised the gathering about his government’s ambitious plan of constructing five million affordable houses in Pakistan within the next five years, which as a chain reaction would not only benefit 40 other associated industries, but also create job opportunities for the youth. It would make the whole economy moving.
About the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the prime minister said it was the great opportunity for Pakistan to connect with China through a web of power, energy and infrastructure projects. The CPEC would turn Gwadar into a hub of trade in the future, he added.
The prime minister appreciated the Chinese leadership for the continuous process of analyzing themselves, and cited the slogan written on the Communist Party’s office ‘learn from your mistakes’.
He said no nation could aspire to achieve unless it had learnt from the past and regretted that Pakistan would not have been in the situation, if it had learnt from the past mistakes.
He also praised China and President Xi’s vision for free trade by opening up the closed economies. Alluding to President Xi’s long term projects, the said under his dynamic leadership, China achieved greater success and in the last 30 years, what it had achieved, had never been witnessed in the human history.
The prime minister also noted that skills development coupled with human development were vital for economic turnaround.
The Chinese government had brought back the experience of its skilled nationals and businessmen working abroad, while on the other hand, it sent its students abroad for special technical education, he said, adding the practice would be adopted in Pakistan.
The prime minister emphasized that complete industrialization could not be feasible without proper training to the people.
He said about 8 to 9 million overseas Pakistan had been working abroad, including the skilled workers, labourers, businessmen and professionals, and his government had the target to woo them to come back and utilize their potential for the development of the country.
He also assured full investment facilities to the overseas Pakistanis for doing business in Pakistan and said most recently, the government had launched Pakistan Citizens’ Portal through which the overseas Pakistanis could raise any complaint and the government would respond.
The prime minister also expressed his gratitude to the Chinese leadership for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation, and termed his meetings with them fruitful.
(This news/article originally appeared in Business Recorder on November 6th, 2018)