Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar met First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Interior of Kuwait, Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled Al-Ahmad Al Sabah, today. General Syed Asim Munir NI(M), Chief of Army Staff was also present during the meeting.
The two leaders underlined the importance of historical brotherly ties between the two countries and reaffirmed the desire to strengthen the fraternal ties by transforming them into a mutually rewarding economic partnership.
The leaders also witnessed the signing of 7 agreements concluded to attract multi-billion dollars investment from the State of Kuwait in various sectors of Pakistan including Food Security/ Agriculture, Hydel Power, Water Supplies (safe drinking water and supporting mining activities), establishment of Mining Fund to support mineral industry, Technology Zones Development and Mangrove Preservation. In addition, 3 MoUs in the fields of culture & art, environment & sustainable development were also signed.
The leaders expressed great satisfaction at the trajectory of relations, agreed to remain in close contact, and take swift steps in further strengthening and deepening of Pakistan-Kuwait relations.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan termed these agreements with Kuwait another milestone in the achievements which the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) platform is bringing for the country.
The Prime Minister also prayed for the good health of H.R.H Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, The Emir of the State of Kuwait.
PMO Press Release No. 399/2023
Prime Minister's Office
Abu Dhabi: 27 November 2023
Meeting of the Caretaker Prime Minister with the President of the UAE
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar today held a bilateral meeting with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi. Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir, NI (M) was also present at the occasion.
The leaders underlined that Pakistan and the UAE have historic and deep-rooted fraternal ties which have stood the test of time. They reaffirmed the resolve to further strengthen bilateral strategic cooperation and dialogue between Pakistan and the UAE. Prime Minister Kakar expressed profound gratitude for the UAE’s firm support to Pakistan in economic and financial domain. The UAE is home to 1.8 million Pakistanis, contributing to the progress, prosperity and economic development of the two brotherly countries.
During the meeting, regional and global developments were also discussed with particular reference to the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestine. The Prime Minister expressed Pakistan’s support to a just and durable solution of the Palestinian question anchored in international law and in line with relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions.
The Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s full support to the UAE’s Presidency for COP 28, underlining its importance as an opportunity for meaningful progress towards effective and result-oriented global actions in key areas to mitigate climate impact including establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of MoUs between Pakistan and the UAE pertaining to investment cooperation in the sectors of Energy, Port Operations Projects, Waste Water Treatment, Food Security, Logistics, Minerals, and Banking & Financial Services. These MoUs will unlock multi-billion dollars of investment from United Arab Emirates into Pakistan and will help realize various initiatives envisioned under Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).
Prime Minister termed the signing of MoUs as a historic event that will usher in a new era of Pak-UAE economic partnership.
A special session of Apex Committee, SIFC was held on 24 November 2023, to foster strategic partnerships with friendly countries.
The meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by Chief of Army Staff, ministers and high level government officials.
The Committee reviewed the existing level of collaboration and unanimously approved various initiatives to be broached with friendly countries and directed to fast-track implementation of various projects conceived under these initiatives.
Prime Minister appreciated the efforts of concerned ministries for identifying prospective areas of collaboration and directed all stakeholders for realisation of envisioned long term economic dividends.
Chief of Army Staff assured unwavering resolve of Pakistan Army to support economic initiatives being undertaken by Government of Pakistan.
Special Investment Facilitation Council convened 7th meeting of its Apex Committee Meeting on 16 November 2023 to review various initiatives being led through SIFC forum. The meeting was chaired by the Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and attended by Chief of Army Staff, Federal Cabinet, Provincial Chief Ministers and high level government officials. The ministries presented progress on projects identified in key sectors and gave plans to further improve the ecosystem for realizing the envisaged investments in a timely manner.
The Committee showed extreme satisfaction on overall progress under the umbrella of SIFC, appreciated the enhancing level of engagements with friendly countries, both public and private entities, and outreach strategy to proactively engage investor’s community, which is translating in enhanced traction and approvals at domestic and global stage.
The Committee reviewed progress on various measures undertaken to improve investment climate and approved policy level interventions to further improve investors’ confidence including repatriation of profits, strengthening domestic dispute resolution mechanism, infrastructural and human resource development and speedy operationalization of EXIM Bank. The Committee also directed to make a comprehensive strategy to address oil and gas issues in a sustainable manner by investing in relevant industries.
The Committee reviewed and appreciated the progress on privatization of State-Owned-Enterprises and directed to keep the process at fast pace. Prime Minister directed all the stakeholders to vigorously pursue SIFC's initiatives through a collaborative approach to reap the dividend in short to medium terms besides, initiating processes for long term endeavors in greater interest of the country.
Chief of Army Staff reassured undaunted resolve of Pakistan Army to backstop government initiatives in various domains for sustainable recovery of the economy.
Dubai: Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) hosted the final day of Pakistan Investment Roadshow in Dubai with prime focus on attracting foreign investments under G2G and G2B frameworks. The event brought together large number of global businessmen and investors representing diverse sectors.
The senior leadership of SIFC gave comprehensive brief on SIFC initiative, highlighting huge untapped potential and investment opportunities in key sectors of Agriculture/ Livestock, IT & Telecom, Mines & Minerals and Energy (Power, Oil & Gas).
Major policy level interventions, undertaken through SIFC platform to improve the investment ecosystem in the country, were also highlighted.
The leadership of SIFC proactively engaged the investors and pitched SIFC's projects in the key sectors; SIFC welcomed the investments from public and private sectors and assured an all-out support to realise such ventures through a collaborative 'Whole of the Government Approach'.
The investors' community lauded the event as an important initiative which afforded opportunities to engage investors across the world. The investors exuded great confidence on SIFC initiative, being a novel approach towards regaining investors' trust, and exhibited keen interest in the investment opportunities broached by the SIFC.
The successful conduct of Pakistan Investment Roadshow helped projecting SIFC initiatives in a great way at global pedestal. The mega event provided great opportunities to the global investors for networking with Pakistani public and private sector, and it is expected to open new vistas of investment collaboration.
Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) is hosting Pakistan Investment Roadshow in Dubai (5 - 7 November 2023). The event is being held with a singular focus to project latent potential of Pakistan and attract global investments in the key sectors of economy.
On the inaugural day, the roadshow attracted a large number of global businessmen and investors to the event. The officials of SIFC held xtensive engagements with global investors, highlighting immense potential and investment opportunities in Pakistan under the auspices of SIFC; projects under SIFC were pitched for attracting prospective investments in the key sectors. SIFC initiative gained enormous traction and during engagements, investors' community was given insights into transforming investment climate in the country through SIFC platform.
Utilizing the platform, 30 Pakistani firms presented their project proposals/ growth strategies during pitch sessions (B2B) encompassing various domains including Agri, IT and Energy.
The event also included a structured Panel Discussion, involving public and private experts, to synthesise the investment landscape of Pakista vis-a-vis emerging markets and way forward to tap-in the opportunities.
The ongoing mega roadshow is first of the kind in country's history to mobilise foreign investments at global stage and is expected to catalyse SIFC's endeavours.
6th meeting of Executive Committee for Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) began on 23 October 2023 and continued for two days.
The Committee was convened to review the progress of various policy level initiatives and projects in the key sectors.
The meeting was chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives and attended by National Coordinator for SIFC, Dr Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan SAPM (Governance Effectiveness), concerned Federal and Provincial Ministers and high-level government officials. The relevant ministries presented progress on various aspects and made recommendations for further improving business and investment climate.
The measures to catalyze new projects as well as removing hiccups in legacy projects, were also deliberated upon to gain investors' confidence.
The Committee appreciated the collaborative work of ministries and departments for achieving various milestones under the umbrella of SIFC and stressed the need to expedite various initiatives.
At the end, the Committee undertook exhaustive discussion for developing consensus on various aspects and recommended certain policy measures to further improve investment ecosystem in key sectors of Agriculture/ Livestock, IT & Telecom, Mines & Minerals and Energy sectors.
“Pakistan’s Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) will act as a single window to facilitate investors, establish cooperation between all Government Ministries and Departments, and fast-track project development,” said Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States. “The core objectives of the SIFC include revitalization of our economy, integrating it with international capital markets, and ensuring steadiness and continuity of policies by adopting best practices and providing salutary investment milieu,” he said. The Ambassador identified five areas ripe for investment in Pakistan - IT, energy, agriculture, mining and defence production. “The SIFC will shorten lengthy business processes, develop a whole of the government approach and tap Pakistan’s potential in key sectors of information technology, energy, mining, agriculture and defence production by generating and attracting foreign direct investment,” he continued. Ambassador Masood Khan made these remarks in his keynote address during a day-long “Future of Everything Summit” organized by OPEN Chicago today. Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN) Chicago is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship and professional excellence within diaspora communities in Chicagoland and the Midwest. Its membership includes professionals, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, scientists, social leaders, academics, and students. The one-day summit aims to explore how emerging technologies, social and economic trends, and environmental challenges transform industries and create new opportunities. Masood Khan said Pakistan and the United States had a strong strategic and economic ties for the past 76 years. This partnership, he said, continues and “we foresee brighter prospects for its growth.” He said that the two sides have recalibrated and rejuvenated their relationship by emphasizing equally the security and non-security dimensions. In the non-security realm, he said, the two sides were enhancing the space for economic partnership encompassing trade, investment, energy, climate change, health-care, education, agriculture, technology and people to people exchanges. “This is an ideal time to invest in Pakistan and to promote Pakistan’s products and services in the United States,” said Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States. “All fundamental elements are in place for Pakistan to grow,” he continued. Highlighting the potential of the country, especially its vantage position to serve as trade and business corridor, the Ambassador said that that “Pakistan is part of a new business ecosystem that is called MENAP (Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan) by venture capitalists. The population of this region is 600 million, out of which 230 million are Pakistanis,” Masood Khan said. “We are also part of another overlapping ecosystem of Central and West Asia,” he continued. Noting the availability of a robust communication and data infrastructure with high-speed internet to support growing gig-economy and human capital, the Ambassador highlighted that there was exponential growth in tech startups of Pakistan during past 4-5 years. “In 2018 the venture capital funding for Pakistani startups was merely $10 million a year. Today it should be more than $1 billion year. Our IT exports are $3 billion, he said. “We also have one of the fastest growing market of free-lancers and e-commerce,” he told the gathering. He thanked the US government for supporting country’s efforts to increase collaboration between US investors and Pakistani firms. “Recently, a memorandum of understanding for investment of $40 million was signed between USAID and Pakistani-American led entity in the Silicon Valley. This is just the beginning. The US government recognizes Pakistan as a big and attractive market for investors in the IT sector,” he said. On this occasion the Ambassador also highlighted investment opportunities in various sectors of economy including diversification of its energy mix, mineral resources and earth metals and agriculture sector especially towards increasing yields of agri-products, corporate farming, dairy farms and feedlots. He also recounted various incentives that are being offered to the business community under investors-friendly regime. “Pakistan is rich in many minerals, especially in cooper, gold, lead, zinc, iron ore, coal, lithium, rare earth, bastnaesite, aluminum, chromite and nickel. Precious and semiprecious stones include ruby, emerald, topaz, tourmaline, quartz, peridot and aquamarine,” he said. He said that Barrick Gold was already aiming to initially extract 170,000 tons of copper and 300,000 ounces of gold every year. “Pakistan has the expertise for manufacturing semiconductor chips for various electronic devices but does not have the resources. It has substantial lithium reserves, a key ingredient for battery production that would contribute to future sustainable energy solutions,” he said. “We urge the American sovereign wealth funds and investors in general to invest in these projects in Pakistan – IT, energy, mining and agriculture - for big wins,” he said. Expressing optimism that abundant capital was expected to come to Pakistan from Gulf’s public entities, Masood Khan said that US private sector could partner with those entities or they could take their own initiatives. Noting that 1 million Pakistani-Americans were serving as a bridge between Pakistan and United States, the Ambassador reiterated his call to the expatriates to have faith in Pakistan. “Invest in Pakistan and invest in the future of Pakistan and Pakistan-US relations,” he said. “Pakistan is going global beyond the region to MENAP, to Central and West Asia, to the United Kingdom and Europe, to China, most importantly to the United States. Join us, you are already there but scale up - that's my appeal to you,” said the Ambassador. He thanked Mr. Mahmood Majeed and Mr. Aamir Chalisa for meticulously choreographing the events during the Summit and wished OPEN Chicago even more successes in its objectives and endeavors.
Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) convened 6th meeting of its Apex Committee today to review various initiatives being spearheaded through the SIFC forum. The meeting was chaired by the Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and was attended by Chief of Army Staff, members of the Federal Cabinet, Provincial Chief Ministers and high level government officials. The ministries apprised the forum about the practical steps undertaken during the last one month to improve business and investment environment in the Country. The Committee also reviewed major macro-economic issues affecting the investment climate including inordinate delays in restructuring/ privatisation of cash bleeding State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). The Committee also resolved with consensus on fast-tracking the privatisation process and hence, in the larger interest of the Country, reduce recurring losses to the national exchequer. The Committee expressed overall satisfaction regarding the ongoing negotiations with foreign and domestic investors for timely realisation of various investment prospects. The Prime Minister appreciated the good work put forth by various ministries and departments and directed to continue with the ‘Whole of the Government’ approach to overcome economic challenges being faced by Pakistan. The Chief of Army Staff assured unflinching resolve of Pakistan Army to support the Government's endeavours for a sustainable path towards economic recovery.
Special Investment Facilitation Council resumed the proceedings of 5th Executive Committee Meeting on 27 September 2023; 2nd session was conducted to review progress of remaining ministries regarding improving business environment in the country and macro-economic stability. The meeting was chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives and attended by National Coordinator for SIFC, Dr Jehanzeb Khan SAPM (Governance Effectiveness), concerned Federal and Provincial Ministers and high level government officials. The ministries presented elaborate plans to remove barriers impacting businesses and improve ecosystem for attracting investment in the country. The Committee also reviewed various enforcement mechanisms put in place to deal with the menace of smuggling, hoarding and grey/ black market; arious lines of action were deliberated upon to hammer out a consensus based way forward. At the end, the Committee recommended concrete measures and policy level interventions in short, medium and long-term for a sustainable economic revival of the country. The recommendations made by Executive Committee will be presented in next meeting of Apex Committee for approval and implementation.
5th meeting of Executive Committee of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) began on 26 September 2023 and will continue for two days. The meeting was aimed to review the measures being undertaken for improving investment ecosystem, overcoming macroeconomic challenges and stimulating economic growth. The meeting was chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives and attended by National Coordinator for SIFC, Dr Jehanzeb Khan SAPM (Governance Effectiveness), concerned Federal and Provincial Ministers and high level government officials. The relevant ministries presented progress on various aspects including policy level interventions to be undertaken in short, medium and long term to yield the desired dividends. After healthy debate, the Committee formulated workable options, by drawing consensus among stakeholders, to resolve key impediments to investment environment in the country. The plans were also finalized to resolve issues related to four key sectors (Agri, IT, Minerals and Energy) besides, adding new projects to the forum.
A virtual briefing session for our Missions abroad on the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was convened by the Foreign Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Government Effectiveness, Dr. Jehanzeb Khan, made a detailed presentation informing the Heads of Missions on the establishment, legal framework and various other aspects of the Council. The Special Assistant briefed the Heads of Missions with regard to the expectations and their instrumental significance towards the success of the SIFC initiative. He particularly highlighted investment opportunities in Pakistan in four key areas: IT, Agriculture, Energy and Mining. The participating Heads of Missions were requested to brief and encourage their host countries to profit from the investment potential in Pakistan – being a resource-rich country. The participating Missions actively engaged in the Q&A session lending country as well as region-specific feedback and suggestions with regard to the way forward on the nascent SIFC initiative.
The Government of Pakistan has constituted the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) to serve as a ‘One-Window’ platform to fast-track decision-making and promote as well as facilitate Foreign Direct Investment in the country.
The briefing session attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs marked the beginning of a healthy and result-oriented interface between SIFC and Missions abroad that will continue at regular intervals.
Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) resumed the proceedings of 5th Apex Committee Meeting on 9 September 2023; 2nd session was arranged to seek input from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Information Technology & Telecommunications, National Food Security & Research, and Water Resources for improving business and investment climate in the Country.
The meeting was chaired by the caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and attended by Chief of Army Staff, Federal Cabinet, Provincial Chief Ministers and high level government officials. Ministries presented comprehensive plans, covering milestones, timelines and solutions to overcome major challenges. The Committee unanimously decided to take all decisions in larger interest of the Country and deal with the menace of smuggling, hoarding and market manipulations with iron hands through an elaborate enforcement mechanism.
The Prime Minister directed the ministries to optimally utilise the short interim period for a positive contribution while also initiating medium and long term policy interventions. Chief of Army Staff pledged unwavering support of Pakistan Army to backstop the Government’s efforts for ‘Economic Revival’ of the Country.
The fifth meeting of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC)’s Apex Committee held today with a singular focus to improve the overall business and investment environment in the Country being imperative for ‘Economic Revival’. The meeting was chaired by the caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and attended by Chief of Army Staff, Federal Cabinet, Provincial Chief Ministers and high-level government officials.
The concerned Ministries presented their plans/ roadmaps to overcome the macroeconomic challenges, governance related impediments and voids in regulatory mechanisms in a bid to attract both foreign and domestic investment, and stimulate economic growth.
The Committee deliberated upon various measures to be taken in short, medium and long term to reap the envisaged dividends. Various practical steps were approved by the Prime Minister that will be operationalized as soon as possible. The Prime Minister asked the ministries to deliver optimal results irrespective of the time that is available with the Interim Government and emphasized to lay a strong foundation for the future Government.
Sequel to engagements in Karachi, SIFC also organised exclusive interaction with Business Community of Lahore on 6 September 2023. SIFC’s Team conducted comprehensive briefs, giving wholesome perspective of SIFC Initiative. The activity amply projected the latent potential of Pakistan and opportunities for the investors in the key sectors of Agri/ Livestock, IT, Minerals and Energy besides, highlighting policy level interventions being pursued through SIFC forum to improve overall investment environment. Business Community was taken into confidence and urged to act as SIFC's ambassadors for attracting investments in the country; an all-out support and facilitation from SIFC was also assured for realising such endeavours by domestic investors. The event culminated at an interactive session, providing Business Community with the opportunity to exchange their views related to investment. Business Community showed great interest in asking queries related to diverse investment opportunities being offered through SIFC platform and investment environment in general.
Islamabad – A Japanese government delegation, comprising Takuma Otaki, Muryama Katsuhiko and Sakamoto Sayaka, the representatives from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry, and Hiraki, Commercial Attaché, Embassy of Japan in Islamabad, convened with the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) at the PM Secretariat on September 6th, 2023. The primary agenda of this significant meeting was to provide the Japanese delegation with a comprehensive insight into the inception, mission, mandate, and targeted investment sectors of SIFC. Furthermore, it aimed to tap into the invaluable perspectives of the Japanese delegation concerning the business dynamics between Pakistan and Japan.
A thorough presentation was delivered, elucidating SIFC multifaceted role as a single-window' platform dedicated to facilitating potential investors from friendly nations. This presentation also encompassed an exploration of the extensive potential and investment prospects across diverse domains within key sectors, including Agriculture/Livestock, Information Technology, Mines/Minerals, and Energy.
In a bid to further enhance investment relations between Pakistan and Japan, both countries, actively engaged in discussions to address key aspects of investment facilitation. These discussions encompassed various facets, including the repatriation of profit and dividends. SIFC elaborated on the goal to create a seamless process not only for profit repatriation but also for essential business costs.
It was highlighted that Pakistan recognizes the importance of providing attractive tax incentives to bolster investment from Japan. These measures are aimed at ensuring that investments in Pakistan are not only lucrative but also efficient, contributing to a thriving business ecosystem. SIFC is excited about the evolving partnership with Japan and remains committed to implementing policies that not only enhance the ease of doing business but also create a welcoming environment for investors. Together, both nations are laying the foundation for a prosperous and mutually beneficial future.
As part of outreach strategy, SIFC arranged an interaction with Business Community of Karachi on 5 September 2023.
SIFC’s Team led by Dr Jehanzeb Khan made detailed presentations encompassing various aspects of SIFC Initiative. Pakistan latent potential and investment opportunities in the key sectors of Agri/ Livestock, IT, Mining/ Minerals, and Energy were highlighted along with ongoing efforts to improve the business climate in the country.
Business Community was taken on board to attract investments in Pakistan and be part of valuable projects. SIFC ensured to extend its facilitative role in realizing such endeavours by domestic investors.
At the end, an interactive session provided the Business Community with the opportunity to share their investment-related feedback and suggestions. Business Community also displayed keen interest in asking questions related to various investment opportunities and the investment environment in general.
Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) continues to steer investment related initiatives at fast pace through exhaustive engagements involving all stakeholders. Accordingly, 4th meeting of its Executive Committee (Functional Tier) was held on 4 September 2023 with the objectives to remove bottlenecks and improve overall investment environment. The meeting was chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives and attended by National Coordinator for SIFC, concerned Federal and Provincial Ministers and high level government officials. The concerned ministries presented progress on various aspects and highlighted areas needing special focus. The Committee showed satisfaction regarding ongoing outreach strategy of SIFC and directed to further build on it by engaging business community and missions abroad. At the end, the Committee recommended measures to further improve the ecosystem for investment in the country with focus on, inter alia, policy interventions, visa facilitation for investors, dispute management / resolution mechanism and technical refinement of approved projects in Agri, IT, Minerals and Energy sectors. The matters recommended by the Executive Committee will be presented at the Apex Committee Meeting, to be chaired by Prime Minister, for their approval and implementation.
Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) President Kashif Anwar alongside prominent business figures met WITH Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir, here ON Sunday.
Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi also attended the meeting IN which country economic trajectory was discussed IN detail, LCCI spokesman confirmed this TO the media.
During the meeting, General Asim Munir highlighted the pivotal role of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), emphasizing its potential TO attract substantial investments of up TO 100 billion dollars FROM countries such AS Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait AND others. TO bolster economic decision-making, he revealed the formation of task forces focused ON economic matters AND different sectors.
Kashif Anwar, IN alignment WITH the broader business community, recommended active engagement WITH ALL chambers TO incorporate diverse perspectives INTO the task FORCE agenda.
Addressing critical issues faced BY the public, Kashif Anwar proposed a reduction IN income AND sales tax rates ON electricity bills. He noted that the populace grapples WITH the burden of high taxation ON electricity, impacting daily lives, businesses AND common people. Additionally, Kashif Anwar introduced a pragmatic approach TO fuel adjustment charges, advocating FOR their collection during the winter months WHEN electricity consumption IS LOWER, alleviating financial stress ON consumers.
Recognizing the pivotal role of exchange rates IN Pakistan economic landscape, the LCCI President called FOR greater control over the rates of the US dollar IN BOTH interbank AND OPEN markets.
The COAS General Asim Munir responded positively, assuring that money exchanges would be brought under the purview of taxation, fostering transparency IN dollar exchange AND interbank rates.
President LCCI also pointed OUT that the disparity BETWEEN the State Bank rate AND the Hundi rate often leads TO the preference FOR Hundi channels WHEN it comes TO remittances. He emphasized that IF these rates were aligned, remittances would naturally flow through the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Kashif Anwar emphasized the importance of an enhanced AND sustained interactive dialogue BETWEEN the business community AND relevant authorities. He expressed concerns over the prevailing lack of responsiveness TO suggestions put forth BY the business sector. Furthermore, Kashif Anwar called FOR a unified commitment FROM political parties, suggesting the signing of a charter of the economy AS a precondition BEFORE ANY upcoming elections.
Expanding ON General Asim Munir earlier remarks regarding the existence of a grey economy, accounting FOR 2 TO 3 times of the overall documented economy, Kashif Anwar proposed an innovative approach. He recommended incentivizing the grey economy TO transition INTO the formal, white economy, offering a strategic solution TO combat this pervasive issue.
President LCCI said that the EXPANSION of the tax base would remain elusive AS LONG AS the grey economy remains unincorporated, unable TO contribute TO the formal, white economy. This gathering exemplified the shared dedication of BOTH the business community AND the military leadership TO WORK collaboratively IN addressing pressing economic challenges AND propelling the nation toward growth. AS Pakistan continues TO navigate economic complexities, this constructive dialogue signifies a promising step toward finding practical solutions AND fostering economic prosperity FOR the nation, he concluded.
The Foreign Secretary held a briefing session on the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) for the resident diplomatic missions in Islamabad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here Friday.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Government Effectiveness Dr Jehanzeb Khan made a detailed presentation informing the diplomatic missions on the establishment and various aspects of the Council.
He particularly highlighted investment opportunities in Pakistan in four key areas including information technology, agriculture, energy and mining.
The participants were requested to brief and encourage their countries to profit from the promise of Pakistan being a resource-rich country.
The Government of Pakistan has recently constituted the SIFC to serve as a ‘One-Window’ platform to expedite the decision-making process and promote as well as facilitate foreign direct investment in the country.
The briefing session was also attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar Friday said that an estimated foreign investment of US$60 to $70 billion was expected in the next three to five years under the government’s new initiative of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).
Besides, he said the government had also received pledges and promises of another similar amount of investment.
“Now, we have to design and submit our projects as there is a huge appetite to invest in the country”, he said while talking to senior journalists and news anchors here.
Replying to a question, the prime minister said the government was considering various options to provide relief to the people.
Citing the example of the $700 billion worth of Reko Dik gold and copper reserves, the prime minister said the country had huge potential of natural resources that would change fate of the people of Pakistan.
“We took the initiative of SIFC to realize this potential and we are going towards the right direction so far as the scientific methods and financial models are concerned,” he remarked.
He said the SIFC was the whole of the government project and there was no hidden in it.
"This IS a transparent intervention that has already been initiated AND has the overall potential of $5 TO $6 trillion.
The prime minister highlighted that Pakistan had huge land that could be used FOR agriculture purpose AND could serve half of the Asian population food requirements.
He added that the country had also enough water TO irrigate the barren land across the country.
Likewise, he said IT, tourism AND defence production had also huge potential that would be tapped FOR socio-economic development of the country.
PM Kakar maintained that although the core responsibility of the caretaker government was TO facilitate elections across the country, IN the meantime it would also try TO improve the taxation mechanism AND address other economic challenges.
Replying TO another QUERY, the prime minister said economic migration was NOT a NEW phenomenon AND people were leaving the country FOR a better future AND they would also contribute TO Pakistan’s economy IN future. Therefore, he said, it should NOT be considered a brain drain.
Advising the media TO propagate hope among the masses, he said there was NO chance of a sudden collapse of the country social structure AND ALL professionals, doctors, nurses, AND the society overall were functioning AT an absolutely normal pace.
He said the government minutely looked INTO the problem of inflated electricity bills AND would come up WITH a solution WITHIN next 48 hours.
TO a question, he clarified that the Pakistan army, navy AND air FORCE were NOT USING a single free unit of electricity AND their bills were paid FROM the allocated financial budget.
WHILE employees of WAPDA were USING free electricity units AND their USAGE would be rationalized, especially of the higher grade officers SOME of them were getting huge quantity of free electricity, he added.
He said perception should NOT be that the government would take ANY strict measures causing difficulties FOR the people.
He pointed OUT that the POWER sector had been a very challenging issue since the 1990s AND the governments of that TIME signed agreements WITH independent POWER producers TO overcome loadshedding which proved costly FOR consumers.
Over the years, he said, the generation AND transmission system of electricity was flawed AND the government had TO deal WITH serious issues of line losses, POWER theft, high circular debt, USE of expensive imported fuel AND capacity payments TO electricity companies.
"These issues cannot be ignored by just closing eyes. We need to diagnose treatment for the disease," he added.
He made it clear that the government would fulfill its agreements WITH the international financial institutions.
As part of the outreach strategy, Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) conducted an exclusive webinar on SIFC Initiative, attended by Trade & Investment Officers based in Pakistan Missions abroad. Secretary SIFC gave a comprehensive brief about SIFC and its mandate to serve as "single-window" platform for facilitation of potential investors from brotherly friendly countries. The brief also covered enormous potential and investment opportunities in diverse areas of key sectors including Agriculture/ Livestock, IT, Mines/ Minerals and Energy. Measures being undertaken through SIFC forum to improve business climate in Pakistan including policy level intervention for improving ease of doing business were also highlighted.
During an exhaustive interactive session, Trade & Investment Officers appreciated the innovative "whole-of-government approach" adopted for revival of country economy. They also shared their constructive feedback to attract investment from their host countries/ regions and vowed to contribute positively for promotion and realization of various initiatives under SIFC banner.
The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister and attended by Chief of Army Staff, complete Federal Cabinet, Chief Ministers, Provincial Ministers and high-level government officials. The cabinet was given a wholesome review of SIFC initiatives encompassing progress in key areas and benchmarks achieved thus far in a short span of time.
Prime Minister appreciated the efficient functioning of SIFC through a collaborative “Whole of Government Approach” for achieving horizontal and vertical synergy. The Apex Committee appreciated SIFC’s outreach strategy to achieve global traction and ongoing engagements with brotherly / friendly countries including productive visits of high-level delegations from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS).
The Apex Committee expressed confidence on SIFC initiatives and displayed its resolve and support in maintaining the positive trajectory towards revival of country’s economy. The Apex Committee also endorsed the projects, approved by previous Government, for attracting investments in key sectors of Agriculture / Livestock, Mining / Minerals, IT and Energy.
At the end, Prime Minister directed to accelerate the realisation of identified projects by capitalising the enabling environment already achieved through SIFC.
COAS reaffirmed Pakistan Army’s all out support to Caretaker Government for continuity of policies in a bid to revive country’s economy and steer Pakistan towards progress and prosperity.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Monday directed the authorities concerned to accelerate the realisation of identified projects by capitalising enabling environment, already achieved through Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).
Besides, he said the government had also received pledges and promises of another similar amount of investment.
The prime minister was chairing the 4th Apex Committee Meeting of SIFC - the inaugural meeting under the caretaker government - to continue positive impetus under the Council.
The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff, entire federal cabinet, chief ministers, provincial ministers and high-level government officials.
The meeting was given a wholesome review of SIFC initiatives, encompassing progress in key areas and benchmarks achieved thus far in a short span of time.
Prime Minister Kakar appreciated the efficient functioning of SIFC through a collaborative “Whole of Government Approach” for achieving horizontal and vertical synergy.
The Apex Committee appreciated SIFC’s outreach strategy to achieve global traction and ongoing engagements with brotherly/friendly countries including productive visits of high-level delegations from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS).
The Apex Committee expressed confidence on SIFC initiatives and displayed its resolve and support in maintaining positive trajectory towards the revival of country’s economy.
The body also endorsed the projects, approved by the previous government, for attracting investments in key sectors of agriculture, livestock, mining, minerals, information technology and energy.
The Army Chief reaffirmed Pakistan Army’s all-out support to the caretaker government for continuity of policies in a bid to revive country’s economy and steer Pakistan towards progress and prosperity.
Eng. Waleed Abdulkarim El Khereji, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia called on the Prime Minister earlier today. The Saudi Vice Minister is leading a high level delegation with members from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Energy, Health, Environment and Agriculture, Industry and Mineral Resources, Investment etc. The Prime Minister welcomed the delegation and expressed satisfaction on the positive trajectory of bilateral relations with the Kingdom. He also conveyed his greetings for the Saudi leadership. He also thanked Saudi Arabia for its timely financial support to Pakistan, especially during the floods and appreciated Saudi Arabia’s role in helping Pakistan in its efforts to achieve macroeconomic stability in the country. The Prime Minister invited Saudi government and companies to avail the investment opportunities in agriculture, mining, IT, energy and other sectors. He said the establishment of a Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) will facilitate and fast-track potential investments from GCC member states, especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In this regard, the Prime Minister appreciated the Kingdom’s serious interest in exploring investment opportunities in Pakistan. The visit of the Saudi delegation manifests the deep interest and willingness on both sides to transform the longstanding fraternal ties into concrete and mutually rewarding economic partnership. The visit will contribute to further enhancement of multi-faceted collaboration between the two countries. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have a longstanding history of brotherly bilateral ties marked by mutual trust and understanding, close cooperation, and an abiding tradition of mutual support.
To continue the positive momentum under the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) initiative, the 3rd Apex Committee Meeting of SIFC was held today in Islamabad. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and attended by the Chief of Army Staff, Chief Ministers, Federal and Provincial Ministers and high-level government officials. The Prime Minister appreciated the expeditious operationalization of SIFC in a short span and its efficient functioning through a collaborative approach. The Apex Committee appreciated the global impact of the ongoing outreach strategy through seminars and project inaugurations; which will be augmented by SIFC’s website, being launched shortly. The Apex Committee gave final approval of projects, presented by the ministries, for attracting investments from friendly countries, under the umbrella of SIFC, in key sectors of Agriculture / Livestock, Mining / Minerals, IT and Energy. The Apex Committee showed all-out support for successful conduct of the upcoming visit of a high-level delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan through SIFC platform. The Prime Minister directed to make this inaugural visit a momentous event. At the end, Apex Committee showed resolve for continuous support to SIFC initiative and urged the Interim Government to maintain the impetus for a positive contribution.
Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated National Aerospace Science and Technology Park established at PAF Base Nurkhan, Rawalpindi today. On his arrival the Prime Minister was received by Air Chief Marshal, Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, Chief of the Air Staff. General Syed Asim Munir, Chief of Army Staff, Federal Ministers, and high level civil and military officials were also present at the occasion. In his address, the Prime Minister of Pakistan termed National Aerospace Science and Technology Park as a project of national and strategic significance that would reap multi-dimensional benefits for the country. He further said that NASTP project would induce technological advancement and would make the country more self-reliant by providing a platform for the youth and our future generations. The Chief Guest praised the efforts of Pakistan Air Force and its skilled personnel in achievement of this milestone in record time. He further said, "NASTP is a highly promising project that will leverage collective wisdom and would contribute to kick-starting Pakistan’s economy to bring it on a fast track toward progression. The project is equipped with state-of-the-art design, innovation, research and development centres which would provide ample opportunities for foreign investment in the country." The Prime Minister also lauded efforts of Pakistan Air Force, for completion of the project at an unprecedented pace. It was highlighted that Aerospace Science and Technology Park under the patronage and support of SIFC will enable the Information Technology Sector as one of the key domains of the economic revival initiative. Chief of the Air Staff expressed his gratitude to General Syed Asim Munir, Chief of the Army Stafff for his cooperation, collaboration and personal involvement which enabled true manifestation of the idea behind NASTP. NASTP would foster research, development and innovation in the fields of Aviation, Space, Cyber and Computing to ensure social, economic, technological and scientific dividends for Pakistan and its valuable partners. The project will serve as a milestone to boost the independent economy and would also flourish the unprecedented technological advancements in the country.
Pakistan Minerals Summit – Dust to Development was held at Serena Hotel Islamabad today. Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Shareef graced the occasion as Chief Guest while General Syed Asim Munir, COAS was the guest of honour. The Summit was also attended by relevant Federal and Provincial Ministers, foreign dignitaries, investors and technical experts. The summit was jointly organized by the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) and Barrick Gold Corporation, facilitated by the Ministry of Petroleum. The Summit was curated under the theme of "Dust to Development: Investment Opportunities in Pakistan". The day-long Summit was divided into 4 sessions, comprising four individual addresses, four- panel discussions, one keynote speech and special addresses by the PM and COAS. The Summit managed to bring specialists, leaders of the industry and many stakeholders from public and private entities on one platform to discuss and find the best way forward towards exploring Pakistan’s minerals potential. “As a nation, Pakistanis have always exhibited resilience and hope and with such initiatives, I can see the hope becoming a reality. We need to build a stronger narrative for a better future and the mineral wealth of Pakistan is a great opportunity for us to make our mark in the global economy. SIFC is an excellent step that can help Pakistan optimize the opportunities for Foreign Direct Investment", PM said. COAS shared his vision for the changing landscape of the mining industry in Pakistan and emphasized upon the catalytic role of the SIFC. "Difficult times are a test of resilience of a Nation. Through cohesion, steadfastness and optimism we will overcome prevailing challenges", COAS remarked. The event concluded with the signing of three ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ which assured opportunities for foreign investment in the mining industry of Pakistan.
Pakistan’s first completely automated and smart Agri Farm ‘Khanewal Model Agriculture Farm; a flagship of Green Pakistan Initiative is being inaugurated today by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif. General Syed Asim Munir, COAS would be present as Guest of Honour. Ministers of Finance, Defence, Planning Development & Special Initiatives, National Food Security & Research, Information & Broadcasting, Chief Secretaries of the Provincial Governments, agricultural experts, notable farmers and Senior Army Officials would attend the inauguration ceremony. The foreign dignitaries from various countries will also be participating in the Ceremony. Green Pakistan initiative is a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to collaborate for a sustainable and profitable future. There is an upward trend in investments which has already started to come in because of the business friendly environment being created through the newly established council. The ease of doing business is both for foreign and domestic investors. Pakistan’s agriculture holds immense potential which can be harnessed by employing mechanized and modern farming practices. Pakistan’s agriculture sector, contributes 23 percent to the GDP despite employing 37 percent in labour force. This low-productivity in agriculture cannot be our destiny if we have to transform our economic landscape. Today’s Ceremony will focus on the concept of model farming with frontloaded mechanization and use of precision agriculture tools and practices, collaboration under public private partnership and investment opportunities in agriculture under ‘seeing is believing’. PM will inaugurate the farm by laying the foundation stone at the site along with kicking off the corn harvesting and sowing operations at farming and visualizing the Al practices under precision agriculture through drone operations for surveillance and pesticide application and deployment of climate smart instrument like sensors. Besides he will also see the model cotton fields.
Sequel to unveiling of ‘Economic Revival Plan’ and establishment of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) by Government of Pakistan, 2nd Apex Committee Meeting of SIFC was held today on 21 July 2023. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister of Pakistan and attended by Chief of Army Staff, Chief Ministers, Federal and Provincial Ministers and high-level government officials. The Apex Committee expressed satisfaction on functioning of SIFC and its strategy to outreach the potential investors through conduct of seminars and project inaugurations. The Apex Committee also reviewed various projects presented by ministries for broaching with investors under the umbrella of SIFC. At the end, after a fruitful discussion and consensus, Prime Minister gave approval of projects for attracting investments from friendly countries in Agricultural/ Livestock, Minerals/ Mining, IT and Energy Sectors, and also directed to extend impeccable facilitation to the investors, interested in undertaking and actualising these projects.
A national Information Technology (IT) seminar and the soft launch of related projects will be held here on Thursday which would help converge efforts to achieve a shared objective for fostering an environment conducive to IT growth, due to its paramount role in shaping knowledge-based economy and ensuring sustainable development of Pakistan. The seminar would be attended by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif as the chief guest while Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir would be the guest of honour, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. The seminar will be attended by ministers of planning, development & special initiative, foreign affairs, finance, defense, defense production, information technology and telecommunication, information and broadcasting, chief ministers of Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan, governor State Bank of Pakistan, chairman Federal Board of Revenue, IT experts, military and civil officials. The foreign dignitaries including diplomats and industry leaders from Gulf Countries, China and EU will also attend the seminar. National IT seminar is a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to collaborate for sustainable and profitable future especially in the field of IT. The seminar is being arranged under the ambit of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) which will focus on five major economic sectors including defense production; agriculture; mines & minerals, energy sector and IT industry, the press release said. The immense potential of IT industry can also galvanize other industries through automation, digitization, Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The seminar will also elaborate the impact of new budget on IT sector, industry landscape, measures to increase IT exports from short to mid term, development of requisite skills set, efforts to attract foreign investment and issues being faced by enterprises and startups. Impact of SIFC on continuity of policies and ease of doing business will also be highlighted. The seminar will include display of stalls by major IT companies of Pakistan and successful startups along with soft launch of Tech DestiNation Pakistan, Techlift Boot Camp, 1st Knowledge Park for Women Bagh (AJ&K), Agri Tech Incubator Faisalabad and Center of Excellence in Gaming and Animation.
On 13th July 2023, first meeting of the SIFC Executive Committee was held at the SIFC Secretariat, which has been established at the Prime Minister Secretariat. Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning & Development presided the meeting which was attended by relevant Federal and Provincial Ministers and concerned high ranking civil and military officials. The Executive Committee undertook a holistic overview of various initiatives being undertaken under the SIFC and their implementation progress.
National Seminar on Agriculture/ Food Security was held at Jinnah Convention centre Islamabad today, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Prime Minister highlighted the importance of agriculture for the economy of Pakistan and the landmark steps being undertaken by the government to exploit full potential in agriculture and other domains under the ambit of recently launched SIFC. Prime Minister said that Green Pakistan Initiative would be the second green revolution of Pakistan which will pave way for the prosperity and progress of the country, InshaAllah. General Syed Asim Munir, COAS attended the seminar as Guest of Honour. Chief of Army Staff also addressed the participants and assured the people of Pakistan & the government Army’s full support for all the initiatives being initiated under the ambit of SIFC including today’s launched Green Pakistan Initiative. The seminar was attended by Federal Ministers, Chief ministers of Punjab and Sindh province, Chief Secretaries of Provincial Governments, agricultural experts and farmers from all the provinces. Foreign dignitaries and potential investors and experts from UK, Italy, Spain, China, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye and various other countries also attended the Seminar. Sequel to the inauguration of Land Information Management System - Centre of Excellence (LIMS - COE), Green Pakistan initiative is being undertaken to enhance the food security of Pakistan, increase exports and reduce the agriculture related imports, thereby, contributing towards national economy. Agriculture experts and farmers highly appreciated the Government's landmark initiative and Pak Army's special focus on revolutionizing the agriculture sector by promoting modern contemporary technology, collaboration of public and private sectors and trickling down dividends to the local farmers to alleviate poverty. The participants hailed the conduct of seminar and it's attendance by experts, government representatives and potential investors as a success and first step towards bringing positive change in the agriculture and livestock sectors. The attendees especially lauded the Pak Army's efforts in boosting the national economy by focusing on this critical sector. Honourable PM addressed the seminar and later visited the agriculture and livestock exhibition as well.
During a high-level meeting, Government of Pakistan unveiled an elaborated ‘Economic Revival Plan’ in the wake of economic hardships being confronted by the country. The event was chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and attended by the Chief of Army Staff, Chief Ministers, Federal and Provincial Ministers and high-level government officials. The plan envisages capitalizing Pakistan’s untapped potential in key sectors of Defence Production, Agricultural / Livestock, Minerals / Mining, IT and Energy, through indigenous development as well as investments from friendly countries. To fast-track the development of projects, establishment of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) has been undertaken to act as a ‘Single Window’ interface for the potential investors as well as to adopt a unified approach. The setup will shorten hithertofore cumbersome and lengthy business processes through a cooperative and collaborative ‘whole of the government approach’ with representation of all stakeholders. It is aimed at creating horizontal-vertical synergy between federation and provinces; facilitating timely decision making; avoiding duplication of effort; and ensuring swift project implementation. The high-ranking participation from Federal and Provincial Governments, clearly manifests the national resolve to turn around the economy despite all odds. The COAS, speaking at the occasion, assured Pakistan Army’s all out support to complement Government’s efforts for Economic Revival Plan, considered fundamental to socio-economic prosperity of Pakistanis and reclaiming Pakistan’s rightful stature among the comity of nations. Prime Minister recalled that his government inherited an economy which was on brink of collapse. With bold and difficult decisions, it is now being steered towards growth and development. There are, however, massive challenges ahead. Export oriented FDIs hold the key to economic revival. The government has, therefore decided to adopt a holistic / whole-of-government approach which fosters partnerships within the federal and provincial governments for effective implementation and execution. The investors would be given primacy and fast track approvals, through a well-coordinated approach, he added. Prime Minister observed that the expected investments would create jobs and livelihoods for the youth and women. The focus should be on empowering young and females to realise their full potential, he advised. Let us resolve to work together, leave no stone unturned and be single-minded in our focus and direction, PM extorted. We can transform the destiny of Pakistan and its people. It would, however, not happen without hard work and staying the course on the path of progress and development. Pakistan and Pakistanis deserve nothing less from those who have been bestowed the responsibility to administer the country by Almighty Allah and the people of Pakistan.