Banking reforms attract record foreign investment: Aziz


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said the government's reforms to strengthen banking industry has greatly facilitated in attracting record amount of foreign investment.

The Prime Minister was talking to Francis A Rozario, Chairman NIB Bank and CEO of Fullerton Financial, a company owned by Tamasek a Singapore Government Investment Company(SGIC), who called on him here at the PM House. He emphasised that the banking industry which, has been transformed from state monopoly to a vibrant private entity, has come up with new products and services to serve the less privileged sections of the society.

He said that in order to consolidate the banking sector, the government was encouraging mergers and acquisitions so that a few but stronger banks provide a full range of services to the people. The PM said that far-reaching reforms in every facet of life have transformed Pakistan into a country having record growth. He said the reforms based on de-regulation of the economy, transparent privatisation, creation of a business-friendly environment, rationalisation of taxes and tariffs and transparency in the government transactions have restored the confidence of the investors. He said economic stability, continuity and consistency of policies had helped the business to flourish, thus making Pakistan an investment-friendly place.

The Prime Minister said the interest shown by Tamasek for investment in Pakistan reflected the growing confidence of international community in the success of economic and structural reforms implemented by the government during the last eight years. He appreciated the growing economic ties between Pakistan and Singapore and said that the agreement signed between Gwadar Port Authority and Port of Singapore Authority would give a boost to the activities in and around the Gwadar.

"Pakistan of today and tomorrow is entirely different from the Pakistan of yesterday. Today, it is recognised as a leading emerging state which is rapidly transforming into a major market economy offering products, services and labour market as well as world-class manufacturing sector of the region", he observed.

Francis A Rozario lauded the reforms agenda and macro-economic policies of the government and said the success of economic policies of the Pakistan government had created tremendous potential in the financial sector. He said his bank in Pakistan would serve the middle and low-income group customers and self-employed people. He said his group would particularly focus on lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

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