Pakistan needs loans to overcome debt crisis, PM Imran tells Saudi summit

Pakistan needs loans to overcome debt crisis, PM Imran tells Saudi summit

Riyadh (Agencies): Prime Minister Imran Khan said the PTI government inherited a huge burden of current account and fiscal deficits and we are working on different fronts to get out of this financial crunch.

The PM said this while speaking during question answer session at the three-day Future Investment Initiative Conference which began in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Imran Khan said that his government is approaching the IMF and the friendly countries to seek loans to plug this financial gap.

He said that the government is also endeavoring to reform our institutions to check the menace of corruption in mega development projects and white collar crimes.

Imran Khan said the government is also going to provide enabling environment for doing business in Pakistan to attract the foreign investors particularly the overseas Pakistanis to invest in various projects in the country.

The PM said the government will provide incentives to overseas Pakistanis to send their remittances through banking channels to enhance our foreign exchange reserves and check money laundering.

To a question, Imran Khan said his government is focusing on creating jobs for youth who form the one hundred million population of Pakistan to harness their talent.

PM Imran said for this purpose an ambitious plan of constructing five million houses has already been launched to provide affordable shelter to the poor segments of the society.

Replying to a question about Pak China relations and the CPEC, the Prime Minister said Pakistan admires the Chinese leadership's measures to bring out seven hundred million population out of poverty and convicting over four hundred corrupt elements to purge their society of corruption and crimes.

He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a flagship project under Belt and Road initiative of President Xi Jinping and it would help the entire landscape in the region through greater connectivity and development projects.

Khan added the CPEC would open up road and sea routes for Pakistan through Gwadar, Central Asia and the Middle East.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan is going to set up special economic zones along the CPEC routes to generate economic activity and employment for our people.

The PM particularly highlighted the investment opportunities in Pakistan in the minerals including coal, copper, zinc, oil and gas and religious tourism.

Responding to a question about terrorism, Imran Khan said Pakistan has achieved great successes in the fight against terrorism due to unprecedented sacrifices in human and material.

He said that Pakistan needs a lasting peace and stability to provide an enabling environment to the local and foreign investors in different projects in the country.

Reaffirming the Pakistan's stance, the PM said we also want peace with all our neighbors particularly India and Afghanistan for regional peace and stability.

Imran Khan said peace with India would help the two countries to divert their resources towards human development instead of indulging in arms race. Similarly, peace in Afghanistan would help Pakistan to have an easy access to the Central Asian States for bilateral economic and trade activities, the PM added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan called on Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh. They exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional and global political situation.

Matters pertaining to mutual interest, trade, investment and economic ties also came under discussion during the meeting.

Earlier in the morning, the PM arrived in Riyadh this morning on the second leg of his visit to the Kingdom after his overnight stay in Madina Munawara where he along with his delegation paid respects at Roza-e-Rasool (SAW) and offered Nawafils, praying for the peace and prosperity of Pakistan and the entire Muslim Ummah.

Governor of Riyadh Faisal Bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Pakistan's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Khan Husham bin Siddique and other officials received the prime minister on his arrival.

The PM is attending the investment conference on the special invitation of Saudi King Salman Bin Abdel Aziz. The conference termed as “Davos in the desert” will host leading businesspersons, investors, corporate giants, representatives of hi-tech industry and major media outlets at one platform.

Prime Minister Imran Khan's participation in the conference is aimed at projecting Pakistan's economic and investment potential as well as the vision of the country in the five years to come. It will also provide an opportunity to interact with important business leaders who are interested to invest in Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, PM’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Daud and Chairman Investment Board Haroon Sharif are also accompanying the PM.

In a tweet, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will also attend a question answer session in the investment conference.

Fawad said that the prime minister will also hold meetings with King Salman Bin Abdel Aziz and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and Saudi ministers.

Meetings with international investors are also part of prime minister's engagements, he added.