Pakistan wants the new Trump administration to encourage American investors to explore business opportunities in the South Asian country, whose stock market has been among the world’s top performers in recent years.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in a meeting with U.S. ambassador in Islamabad, David Hale, said the two countries are longstanding allies and that Pakistan was keen to further expand ties with the United States to realize full economic potential of their 7-decades-old ties.
Dar alluded to the recent World Bank Doing Business 2017 report, which moved Pakistan four notches higher in terms of ease of doing business ranking. Reforms introduced by the present government, which took over in 2013, have led to an improved investment environment.
He urged the U.S. government to encourage American investors to explore business opportunities in the South Asia’s second-biggest economy. Many reputable international firms, including American companies such as Procter and Gamble and Nestle, are doing long-term business in Pakistan and reaping handsome profits.
After years of stagnated growth, Pakistan’s economy is on an upward trajectory and is expected to post over 5 percent growth in the year to June. The country was last year upgraded to Emerging Markets from Frontier Markets by Global MSCI index which will be effective from May this year.
Pakistan’s stock market has also performed exceptionally in recent years, with the country’s main KSE index rising close to 500 percent since 2009, and around 56 percent in the last 12 months or so. This is higher than the gains achieved by neighboring India and China, the two leading Asian economic giants.
Minister Dar informed the ambassador that more incentives are being provided to foreign investors in the country’s next federal budget that will be implemented from July 1.
Ambassador Hale assured the Minister that the US embassy will continue to encourage more US investors to take advantage of the attractive investment opportunities available in the country.