APBF for strengthening economic gains to reap benefits of CPEC

APBF for strengthening economic gains to reap benefits of CPEC

With a view to consolidate the economic gains amid significant improvement in domestic security the All Pakistan Business Forum has recommended the government to keep on fixing major growth constraints to reap the potential benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

APBF president Ibrahim Qureshi said that only drastic steps can revive the economy, which should be grown significantly and constantly for visible impact, asking the authorities to take continued efforts, as CPEC is going to be a major opportunity to boost growth and development. The project could also be important to eliminate energy deficit, which had slowed down the economic growth in the country in past.

He stressed the need for continued economic reforms with a view to achieve high growth target as more regulations in system require an enabling environment to promote business and attract foreign investment.

Ibrahim Qureshi said that FDI improvement reflects the improvement in security situation, implying that investors had started coming back to Pakistan. Moreover, country’s liberal policies of investment offered one of the most attractive investment regimes in the region. He said that Pakistan’s trade with European Union has increased substantively after the grant of GSP+ status to Pakistan.

He urged the commerce ministry to explore opportunities to diversify exports of goods and services in their respective areas, suggesting it to devise strategies to promote Pakistani products. He called upon trade officers to take advantage of opportunities offered by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and growth in Pakistan’s national economy made possible by strengthening of democratic institutions and improvement of security situation in Pakistan.

Quoting the report of the Asian Development Bank 2017, he stated that Pakistan gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to edge up to 5.2 per cent in FY17, and 5.5pc in FY18.

According to the report, higher growth in fiscal year 2017-18 reflects accelerated infrastructure investment through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is steadily lifting consumer and investors’ confidence.

This outlook for Pakistan is supported by better security, macroeconomic stability, and improved economic fundamentals resulting from the continued implementation of government reforms.

He said that the IMF has also forecast 5 percent economic growth for 2017, which could improve to 6 percent in the medium term with CPEC-related investments, improved energy supplies and continued reforms.

APBF president also urged the authorities to strengthen export-oriented and manufacturing industries through smooth energy supplies, since a number of issues in the fiscal, external and energy sectors could affect the economic stability achieved so far.

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