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PR No. 95 Islamabad: October 11, 2018

Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has said that in today’s world there are essentially three pillars sustaining any nation building process, the Government, civil society and business adding that it is only when these three work together in unison that a nation moves forward and progresses. The Minister was addressing the ‘CEO Summit Islamabad’ and book launch of ‘100 performing CEOs and Companies of Pakistan 2018’ organized by CEO Club Pakistan in collaboration with Planning Commission, Board of Investment and Privatization Commission here at Islamabad on Thursday. The event was attended by Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, senior officials of the Ministry and a large number of business leaders, entrepreneurs, diplomats and policy makers. The Minister said that the Government is aware of the challenges being faced by the business community and is taking all possible measures to provide them an enabling environment to grow and contribute to national economy. He stated that the Government’s primary role is to act as facilitator for sustainable and responsible business to flourish. He said that as the Government moves towards reforming the economy, it expects the private sector corporations to step up and partner with the Government in redefining Pakistan’s future. The Minister added that the private sector’s potential to contribute to the treasury’s domestic revenues is critical for meeting the Government’s developmental goals by financing essential public goods and services. The Minister noted that major roadblocks to growth have been the historically low private investment, little or no investment by business in R&D and domestic operations. Pakistani businesses need to step out of their comfort zones and invest in acquiring latest technology, business practices to become competitive at regional and international level and employing our growing youth bulge in value added industries of the future especially science and technology. The Minister stated that sustainable development is best served where private sector positions itself to foster inclusive growth noting that our talented private sector has the potential to lift people out of poverty. He further said that evidence suggests that over 80% of jobs in developing countries are created by the private sector however unfortunately only ¼ of the working-age population is engaged in productive employment. He said that more than 80% of the workforce in Pakistan remains employed in informal sector jobs which need to be changed. The Minister said that the Government acknowledges the positive role our businesses have played in the development of Pakistan and their ability to navigate tough political and economic cycles. ‘Now is the time that we work together to change the destiny of our country. A progressive and affluent society devoid of social disparity and injustice will strengthen Pakistan and contribute to the growth and future of businesses’, stressed the Minister. Talking about CPEC, the Minister stated that the Corridor is graduating from start-up phase to a more mature period in its development. He underlined that the scope and base of CPEC is broadening and deepening adding that the mega project has the potential to spur GDP growth and transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub. He stressed upon the industrialists to bridge the industrial divide between Pakistan and China by initiating joint ventures in various sectors including manufacturing, services, construction, agriculture and energy. The Minister congratulated the best performing CEOs and companies on their achievements and hoped that they would continue to contribute to country’s socio-economic development for a prosperous Pakistan.

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