During call on by Ambassador Johannes Matyassy, Assistant Secretary of State for Asia and Pacific, Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, and Swiss Ambassador in Pakistan Marc P. George and other officials of the Swiss Embassy today, the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar stressed upon the developed and civilized nations to restrain India from committing atrocities against the defenseless Kashmiri people in the Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir and repeated violations of the Line of Control. He said that Pakistan believes in peaceful co-existence with its neighbours including India, Afghanistan and Iran and is a great believer of regional economic cooperation for the common well-being of the people of the region.


Talking about Pak-Swiss bilateral relations, the Finance Minister said Switzerland has been a close friend of our country for the past many decades and Pakistan values this relationship. He commended the helpful role of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) which is celebrating its 50 years in Pakistan in 2016.


The Minister shared with the guests that during the last three years the government has shown full commitment to create a congenial environment for foreign direct investment in the country and paid special attention to improving on Ease of Doing for the local and foreign businesses. With the intention on improving on the facilitation strategy, the government has updated the legislation, introduced reforms at various levels to improve efficiency, resultantly; the hard work of the government is paying off in the shape of increased confidence of the international as well as domestic investors.


The Minister said that the recent signing of the OECD convention on tax matters, the successful issue of sukuk in the international markets and the up-gradation of the ratings of Pakistan by the MSCI are proofs of Pakistan finding her place on the international scene. He also mentioned that we expect around 5.5% GDP growth this year and there are predictions of higher growth next year. He said that Pakistan has conducted a successful campaign against extremism and terrorism which has boosted the investors’ confidence in Pakistan. He added that Pakistan has suffered the most in the war against terror and the recent operation zarb-e-Azb has not only enhanced security in Pakistan but would benefit the region as well as the globe.


During his recent visits to many cities in Pakistan, the Assistant Secretary of State for Asia and Pacific, Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, said that he had a chance to meet a number of businessmen particularly those handling the Swiss companies and they appreciated the improved security situation in Pakistan and bright business opportunities being offered in this country. He stated that twenty one (21) Swiss companies are doing business in Pakistan and they have provided jobs to twenty thousand local workers. He appreciated Pakistan for hosting more than three million Afghan refugees over decades and hoped that Pakistan would work for their repatriation and integration in their own country. He opined that the Swiss business community eyes CPEC as an excellent business opportunity. He hoped that the bilateral relationship between Switzerland and Pakistan would remain constructive and substantial.


The Swiss Assistant Secretary also stressed for the vitalization of the SAARC forum to address the current regional situation through dialogue.