Address by H.E. Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister of Commerce, and Special Representative of H.E. Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Islamic Republic of Pakistan


Aug  2nd

Bismillah ArRahmanirRahim
His Excellency, President of the Republic of Indonesia,
Heads of States, Presidents, Prime Ministers,
Business Leaders
Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalam-o-Alaikum and Good Morning
It is a singular honor for me to address the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum. I deeply appreciate the W.I.E.F. Foundation for organizing this essential event; and thank warmly the Government and people of the Republic of Indonesia for their traditional, earnest hospitality.

Excellencies & Distinguished Delegates
Muslim countries are endowed with abundant natural and human resources. Our strategic locations add further significance to our respective geo-economic positions.
Through concrete partnerships, we can create prosperity for the entire Muslim Ummah, particularly for the millions of underprivileged poor in our midst.
Together we can scale new heights. This will, however, require intellectual as well as political leadership.
Let us join hands for deeper trade liberalization among ourselves, and for more extensive technical and knowledge collaboration in other fields of the economy, principally in agriculture.

Excellencies & Distinguished Delegates
Pakistan is committed to strengthening intra-OIC economic and trade cooperation to further the cause of economic integration of Muslim States leading to the establishment of an Islamic Common Market.
OIC countries account for 40% of Pakistan’s global exports and 56% of Pakistan’s global imports.
Trade Preferential System among the Member States of the OIC (TPS-OIC) is one of the most important projects of the Organization to foster intra-OIC trade.
Pakistan has already signed and ratified all three agreements pertaining to TPS-OIC; and have already submitted the concession list to OIC Secretariat.
Pakistan has also been pursuing trade partnerships with OIC member countries through Preferential Trade Agreements, Free Trade Agreements and various other bilateral arrangements.
Pakistan has, in addition, signed and ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which reflects our commitment to a transparent, simple, de-regulated and private-sector-driven business environment.

Excellencies & Distinguished Delegates
In Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s leadership, Pakistan has overcome violent insurgency and energy shortages to become identified as one of the top ten next emerging markets in the world, offering immense opportunities for investment, growth, and trade.

  1. Today Pakistan offers four good news:
    Public finances have stabilized. Tax revenues, foreign exchange reserves, foreign remittances and Pakistan Stock Exchange Index are all at record high. The stock exchange’s recent classification as one of the emerging markets has energized the financial sector. Pakistan’s economy is poised for vigorous growth.
  2. Pakistan today is peaceful from the tribal areas in the north down to the bustling southern port of Karachi. We have won this peace after the greatest sacrifice by tens of thousands of our citizens, police and army personnel across the country.
  3. Pakistan is getting reconnected to the world through roads, sea and air infrastructure. A significant portion of the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will drastically improve road connectivity with neighbouring countries; while the sea port of Gwadar is heading towards a world-port status by connecting Central Asia to the Arabian Sea and beyond.
  4. Pakistan has taken a decisive step towards energy security. Through regional energy connectivity as well as a judicious fuel mix that includes substantive portions of renewable energy, we will by 2018 have abundant capacity to fuel economic growth and large-scale international investment.

Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen:
Pakistan has one of the most liberal foreign direct investment regimes in the region as well as among Muslim States. Prime Minister Sharif’s government is embarked upon accelerated economic development through liberal trade and investment policies. We are determined to make Pakistan a knowledge-based economy through necessary institutional and structural reforms.
In recent years, Pakistan has made good strides in facilitating cross-border trade with neighboring markets, through greater regional connectivity linking Pakistan with China, Central Asia, SAARC and ECO countries.

Excellencies & Distinguished Delegates
I conclude by emphasizing the need for more frequent interaction among policy-makers, academic experts, and private-sector of the Muslim world.
We are suffering not only from pervasive poverty of our people but also from a poverty of ideas on how to create at the earliest an OIC common market. We suffer from a poverty of ideas to facilitate our private sector within OIC behind our borders, at our borders, and beyond our borders.
Pakistan offers its fullest support to initiatives for liberalization of trade, investment and services as well as travel facilitation between Islamic countries. By freeing our trade, travel, and economic engagement, let us free the poor in our midst. To paraphrase Thomas Paine, “We have it in our power to begin the Islamic world over again”.