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Pak economy recorded a significant revival in past four years: Shahid Khaqan D-8

21 October, 2017

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ISTANBUL: Pakistan on Friday told the D-8 that through a comprehensive strategy and unwavering resolve, the country has successfully turned the tide against terrorism, as it sought enhanced trade and economic partnerships with member states through stronger rail, road, air and sea links, a win-win for all.

“We faced unrelenting terrorism emanating from instability in our neighbourhood and the environment in the region and beyond. However, as a result of a comprehensive strategy and unwavering resolve, Pakistan has successfully turned the tide,” Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said while addressing the opening session of 9th D-8 Summit being hosted by Turkey in Istanbul.

“Improved security has led to economic recovery. Pakistan’s economy has recorded a significant revival in the past four years.

Over this time, we have focused on upgrading our communications and energy infrastructure, and enhancing regional connectivity,” the prime minister said. “Connectivity-led growth is a good example of South-South cooperation. We seek similar partnerships with D-8 member states – through road and rail routes, where possible, but also through stronger air and sea connections.”

The prime minister said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will further put Pakistan’s economy on an upward trajectory. “We are also working on energy connectivity projects. Pakistan’s integration into the Eurasian Belt and Road network will provide a firm foundation for Pakistan’s rapid economic development,” he said

“As we gather here to renew our collective pledge to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation, we must also take stock of the progress made so far on trade and economic partnership goals we set for ourselves. This summit is a good opportunity for us to identify and remove the impediments in the way of achieving the organisation’s objectives,” the prime minister said.

He said 20 years ago, a shared vision motivated the leaders of member countries to establish this organisation to promote cooperation in the key areas of agriculture, industry, SMEs, trade, transportation, energy and tourism. “However, the progress achieved so far falls short of our expectations … necessitating measures to accelerate momentum for stronger partnership,” he added.

The prime minister pointed towards the stagnation of intra D-8 trade, after an initial increase, adding, the apprehension is that the target of US $ 500 billion in 2018, envisaged in the 2008 Kuala Lumpur Summit Roadmap, might remain elusive. “It is, therefore, important for us to fully implement various instruments and agreements aimed at facilitating trade amongst member states, especially those related to preferential trade, small and medium enterprises, customs, simplification of visa matters and civil aviation. This would certainly pave the way for substantial increase intra D-8 trade,” he added.

The prime minister said sectoral meetings at the ministerial level have already chalked out the roadmaps. “Now is the time to start implementation. There may be challenges, but there are also opportunities like never before,” he said. “While it is imperative for the governments of member countries to facilitate trade and investment by adopting the necessary legal framework for investment protection and creating an enabling environment for business in their respective countries, it is the private sector that can make the best use of emerging opportunities for trade and joint ventures. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that we also actively promote entrepreneurship in our countries,” he added.

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