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Heavy foreign investment in Pakistan soon: Dar

Heavy foreign investment in Pakistan soon: Dar

WASHINGTON: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that Pakistan is going to witness vigorous increase in foreign investment following a series of economic reforms and measures that have boosted confidence of international institutions and entrepreneurs.

Senator Dar, whose hectic schedule at the annual IMF-World Bank gatherings includes around 50 meetings with experts, business leaders, bankers and chiefs of international financial institutions, expects investment in oil and gas exploration and construction of power projects.

“We aim to increase investment from the current 14 per cent to 20 per cent of GDP in three years,” he said.

For example, the Pakistan government has given the World Bank the go ahead for work on Dasu hydro power project, the first phase of which would cost around $4 billion with electricity generating capacity of 2200MW. Dar expects the World Bank to invest $1.6 billion in Pakistan through International Development Assistance.

The finance minister explained in an interview that the International Finance Corporation, which currently has $900 million investment in Pakistan, is ready to increase it to $3 billion through private sector.

Similarly, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which at the moment has invested around $450 million, is willing to invest another $1 billion, he added.

Dar said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, during his upcoming visit to Washington, would interact with business leaders, who now see Pakistan as a much better business destination than previously.