Delegation of the World Bank called on Finance Minister

A delegation of the World Bank led by Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan, accompanied by Ms. Anabel Gonzalez, Director Trade and Competiveness, Esperanza Lasagabaster, Practice Manager, Gabi Afram, Program Leader and others called on the Federal Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here at the Finance Ministry. Chairman Board of Investment Mr Miftah Ismail was also present on the occasion.

The Finance Minister welcomed the guests and appreciated the cooperation offered by the World Bank team to Pakistan in its various development projects. The Minister also briefly discussed with the World Bank team the recent economic developments that have taken place in the country. The Finance Minister added that the Government is taking steps to facilitate the business activities in the Country and improve its rating on the Ease of Doing Business index.

The Country Director World Bank appreciated the performance of the current government in introducing reforms and said that though the ratings of Pakistan have improved only four points on the Ease of Doing Business Index, the Bank sees it as a big development and a positive and constructive step towards more facilitation for trade and investment activities in the country.

Ms. Anabel Gonzalez, who has served as Costa Rica's Minister of Foreign Trade from 2010 to 2014, also congratulated the Finance Minister on the announcement by Renault, one of the leading car manufacturers in the world, to start production in Pakistan and said that it will go a long way in improving Pakistan's ratings on the Ease of Doing Business Index and stimulate further foreign investment.

Briefing the World Bank team, the Finance Minister said, The PML-N Government has taken various steps to enhance exports including zero rating for exports and introducing Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2015-2018. He also said that the government was vigorously working to create further opportunities for export led growth which can create employment in Pakistan.

Ms. Anabel Gonzalez, Director Trade and Competiveness observed that the present Government has introduced reforms which will lead to overall development of the country's economy. She said that though Pakistan has set itself a growth target of 5.5% for the current fiscal year, yet the Bank foresees a much higher growth potential for the country in the future. She also briefly discussed measures to improve the country's ratings and boost the exports of the country. She also praised the efforts to accelerate growth, harmonized tarrifs and provision of more job opportunities for women.

The meeting was attended by the Finance Secretary, Secretary Commerce and other senior officials of the Ministries of Finance and Commerce.

Source: Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan