Dec 18, 2019: Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar Wednesday said Pakistan had a serious debt problem and the issue could be tackle by import substitution and increase in exports.
Speaking at a seminar on “Role of Parliament in cementing regional integration” here, he said there was nothing to hide about China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
CPEC was an important project for China and Pakistan which were iron brothers, he added.
He said China gave Pakistan loans of $4.9 billion under CPEC.
He said for Pakistan, its economic growth drivers were young population, resources and its geostrategic importance.
He said Pakistan’s economic potential also could not be utilized because of different problems in the neighbouring countries.
In India, a government with extremist and xenophobic tendencies was in power, he said and hoped that a better leadership would emerge in India which would believe in peace and better relations with its neighbours.
He said due to various reasons, Pakistan’s trade with Iran and Afghanistan was restricted.
The minister said intra regional trade was important for economic growth and at present the East Asian countries had intra regional trade of 27 percent of their gross domestic product.
Umar said progress of Pakistan was in the hands of Pakistanis and it was not the responsibility of the United States and China to work for Pakistan.
Therefore, Pakistanis should change their mindset and work hard for changing their economic fortune, he added.