“Pakistan’s economy has been growing steadily over the last years and it is expected to become higher middle income country by 2015.The consumer market in Pakistan is growing at a very fast pace. With a fast growing middle class, increasing urbanisation, a rising number of international brands, Pakistan is poised to become a major destination for international businesses” stated Nasrullah Khan, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Singapore while addressing a Seminar -“ Spotlight on Pakistan”.
With the aim to attract Singaporean businesses to invest in Pakistan, the Pakistan High Commission in coordination with the Singapore Business Federation organized “ Spotlight on Pakistan”. This seminar will be followed by an Investment Conference in August 2017, which is expected to be a much larger event.
The High Commissioner in his keynote address stressed on Pakistan’s strategic location with potential to become Asia’s premier trade, energy and transport corridor. This (strategic) advantage alone makes Pakistan a market full of opportunities. Aiming at sustainable and inclusive economic development and good governance, including financial discipline, Pakistan has initiated much needed reforms which reinforced our broader macroeconomic policies and led to lower budget deficits, increased foreign exchange reserves, and reduced spending on energy subsidies. The audience were informed of the upsurge in Pakistan’s economy, the Reclassification of the Pakistan stock market in the Emerging Markets (EM) Index by the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), in June 2016. Its upgraded Credit Ratings by Fitch Ratings: Rated B, Stable Outlook since 15th September 2015;Moody’s: Rated B3, Stable Outlook since 11th June 2015; Standard & Poor’s (S&P): Raised Pakistan long terms sovereign rating to B from B- on improved economic outlook and better fiscal and external account with Stable Outlook on 31st October 2016 International economic agencies are upgrading ratings for the financial and economic stability of Pakistan. The High Commissioner also informed the participants that Pakistan’s growth rate has exceeded the World Bank’s forecast of a GDP growth of 5.2% for the current year. The government’s economic liberal, business friendly and forward looking policies are focussed on reducing the cost of doing business and eliminating cumbersome administrative process to provide ease of doing business. He also highlighted that the CPEC was expected to generate massive economic activity in the country, which would create opportunities for investments by the private sector and other countries as well.
H.E Shamsher Zaman, Singapore’s Non- resident Ambassador to Jordan andVice Chairman of Singapore Business Federation’s South Asian business Group , played a proactive role in organizing and making the Seminar a success where in Dr. Yaseen Anwar, ex-Governor State Bank of Pakistan and Advisory Board IMI of Renmin University, Beijing, and Senior Advisor, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, spoke on “Belt Road initiative and China- Pakistan’s Economic Corridor”. A highly informative presentation titled “Economic Overview and Outlook”, was made by Mr. Abid Sattar, HBL’s Head International Banking ( Asia & Africa). A wide-ranging briefing by Mr. Mueen Uddeen, Managing Director, Arcpoint Associates Advisory Pte. Ltd,on “Doing Business in Pakistan”, was also part of the day’s events. These eminent economists/businessmen along with the High Commissioner and Mr. Mohammad Mehdi, CEO, Nassam Singapore Pte. Ltd were also panellists for experience sharing and discussion on “Doing Business in Pakistan”.
A large number of Singaporean companies attended the seminar and evinced keen interest in the opportunities offered by Pakistan. They enthusiastically participated in the Question- Answer session and panel discussion.