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Report M. Ishaq N. Rana

(Al-Dhahran, February 3, 2001) Mr. Wasim Haqqie, Chairman Board of Investment Pakistan who accompanied the high-powered delegation arrived in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to take part in Ministerial Commission at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Haqqie left behind to visit Eastern Province where he has to attend a reception organized by Pakistani Community Council, Eastern Province at Dhahran International Hotel. It is worth mentioning that Mr. Haqqie has been working in the EP for many years in an Automobile Company. He arrived along with Mohammad Saleem, Commercial Councilor, Embassy of Pakistan to attend a dinner reception where he was a Chief Guest.
Mohammad Naseem Pasha started the program with the recitation from the Holy Qura’an. The stage secretary Javed Inam thanked the Chief Guest and the prominent Pakistanis of the Eastern Province including Doctors, Engineers, Professors, Businessmen, Accountants, Professionals and Computer Literates. He requested Mr. Ilyas Khan a co-sponsor of this function with PCC to welcome the chief guest and other guests.
Mr. Haqqie briefed the audience about the outcome of Ministerial Commission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He was very optimistic and said that they have discussed not only the Saudi investment in Pakistan but many other fields namely manpower, business and trade were discussed in details. He said proudly that our brotherly relations with Kingdom are cordial and beyond any doubt what so ever. He said proudly the Saudi businessmen delegation will go to Pakistan soon to further explore the possibilities of mutual trade relations. It is confirmed now that the delegation of business will arrive in Pakistan on February 14, 2001.
Mr. Haqqie with help of slide presentation explained the salient feature of Pakistan’s economy, however, he admitted that there is long way to go to project any rapid growth but we have been able to contain the downward trend of economy. We have documented the economy to 70 % and have expanded the tax net now we have about 1.2 million tax payers as compare to previous 9,50,000. He praised the
General Musharaf and his Government for making all out efforts to control the economy. He said the inflation is only 5.5% that was doubtful as per the recent price hike of gasoline products. He said the investment environment in Pakistan is very congenial, the Government is providing all facilities to the investors and we are working on the process of providing constitutional guarantee to the investors to build and restore their confidence. The Hubco decision has helped to build the confidence of investors. He mentioned about the investment pouring in the country particularly in the field of oil and gas, textiles and IT that is going to be about 1.6 billion dollars in 3 years that includes 700 millions in textile 300 million in IT and 711 millions in oil and gas fields. He admired Dr. Atta u Rehman Minister of Science and Technology who is working day and night from inside and outside investment. At present 650 foreign companies are operating in Pakistan He said overseas Pakistanis have always played an important role in the country’s foreign exchange. I request them to
Bring the investment into country and increase their foreign exchange remittances. He mentioned the freezing dollar accounts for which the then Government had no other choice and assured this will never happen again. We are involving overseas Pakistanis in decision-making. There are no restrictions on foreign investment capital and profit can be repatriated 100%.