Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan says Pakistan is making efforts to building its economic heft by streamlining economy, improving trade and investment climate, plugging loopholes and becoming active part of intergovernmental trade organizations.
He made these remarks during his wide-ranging interview with Adrienne Ross during Ambassador Insider Series, jointly organized by Washington Diplomat and Embassy of Pakistan Washington DC.
Ambassador Masood Khan said we are constructively engaged with IMF, World Bank and other international financial institutions but beyond band-aid solutions, we have to create economically resilient Pakistan.
On a questions regarding electoral process in Pakistan, the Ambassador said that elections are on track and the nation is geared towards electoral process.
The Ambassador highlighted that women of Pakistan were excelling in all walks of life including education, professions and businesses and their presence is increasing in politics, civil services, judiciary, armed forces and other professional fields.
Talking about freedom of press, Masood Khan noted the presence of a strong and vibrant media in the country and said that the role of government, as regulator, and role of responsible journalism was critical to keep citizenry informed for better decision making.
He highlighted successful business ventures of around 80 US companies and said that Pakistan is a huge market of 230 million people and is positioned to serve Central and West Asia, Middle East and North Africa.
The Ambassador also highlighted exponential growth in tech-startups which are being funded and supported by Silicon Valley and US Venture Capital funds.
On investment opportunities in Pakistan, the Ambassador said that Pakistan has prioritized energy, IT, agriculture and extractive industry as major areas for foreign direct investment.
Discussing economic situation of the country, the Ambassador said that Pakistan is a tale of two nations when it came to economy. He said that efforts were afoot to streamline taxation system of the country to generate sufficient resources for meeting our developmental needs.
While mentioning active and constructive engagement with IMF, World Bank and other International Financial institutions, the Ambassador noted that Pakistan had never defaulted in meeting its financial obligations and is focused on improving its macroeconomic indicators.
Discussing the issue of Climate Change, Masood Khan mentioned huge devastation due to climate-induced biblical floods in Pakistan and the efforts of the country in establishing Loss and Damage Fund. He said that Pakistan, with the help of its friends, is striving to build resilient infrastructure and climate smart agriculture.
The Ambassador also dilated upon Pakistan’s relations with Taliban and how the scourge of terrorism continued to haunt the people of Pakistan.
He expressed the hope that the United States would continue to remain engaged with the people of Afghanistan and would continue partner in the development of the country.
On a question, the Ambassador highlighted rich cultural diversity and geographical beauty of Pakistan that made the country an ideal destination for variety of tourism including adventure tourism, eco-tourism, religious tourism, mountaineering, paragliding and other life-long experience.