WASHINGTON: The executives of the world rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poors and Fitch Rating agencies said that if the menace of extremism is eliminated, Pakistan will be an ideal market for capital investments. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar held separate meetings with these representatives in Washington.
Moody’s and S & P have been declaring their sovereign ratings on Pakistan while Fitch Ratings has recently shown its interest in sovereign ratings on Pakistan and requested for discussions with the Finance Ministry during World Bank and IMF Meetings. The finance minister highlighted the turnaround in Pakistan’s economy during the last fifteen months. He said that Pakistan did not entirely bank upon the EFF but broad spectrum of reforms, enhancement in tax to GDP ratio, curtailment of inflation to single digit, subsidies, privatisation of public sector enterprises and incentives in oil & gas sectors have been pursued side by side in addition to the comprehensive agenda of initiatives in the financial sector without any compromise on the development and social safety programmes.
Citing the phenomenal response of the international community towards Eurobond, the Finance Minister said that different ranking institutions in general and JETRO in particular have declared Pakistan as the second most favourite country for Foreign Direct Investment.
The Finance Minister highlighted the decrease in the fiscal and trade deficits and significant increase in GDP i.e 4% after a gap of six years. He expressed his resolve to raise the Foreign Exchange Reserves to $15 billion by the end of this year. Ishaq Dar highlighted government’s exploration and production of hydrocarbons policy, new discoveries in natural gas and reliance on super critical technology in coal fired power projects, besides diversifying the energy mix to increase 10,000MW of electricity to the national grid.
The representatives of rating agencies recognized the tremendous potential of Pakistan’s energy sector in comparison with regional countries in general.