PM: (Pakistan offers attractive investment regime: PM)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has vowed to enhance bilateral trade with Sri Lanka to one billion dollars in two years.

Speaking to Sri Lankan businessmen and journalists in Colombo on Wednesday, he said Pakistan desires good economic relations with Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister noted that both the countries have good political relations but the economic relations do not commensurate with the political relationships.

He said both countries need to move forward on economic front. He said we should start relying and depending on each other to meet our economic needs. This, he said, will push up our bilateral trade manifold.

He said Pakistan offers attractive investment regime to the investors and Sri Lanka could take full benefit from it. He said we will also encourage our investors to invest in Sri Lanka.

Referring to the economic turnaround made by Pakistan over the last two and a half years, the Prime Minister said the country’s GDP growth has risen to four point six percent from three percent, and is expected to be about five percent at the close of current financial year.

Similarly, per capital income has risen by 12.9 percent while budget deficit has been reduced to five point three percent.

The Prime Minister said tax revenue has increased by thirty-three percent while foreign exchange reserves have also witnessed significant growth. He said Pakistan economic performance is also being appreciated by the international rating agencies.

Nawaz Sharif said the government is taking head on the challenges of acute energy shortages and terrorism. He said power shortages will be overcome by 2017 while the war against terrorism has almost reached its conclusion with the dismantling of terrorist hideouts and sanctuaries.