On Sunday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, addressing the huge crowd of the World Government Summit in Dubai made a strong investment pitch for Pakistan. He suggested the investors “ don’t miss the boat” as Pakistan goes on a business-friendly “upswing”.
The cricketer-turned-politician, mentioned a wide-ranging “ambitious reforms programme”, including several opportunities for business “to make money”, tax reforms, deficit cuts, tourism development, and a new visa regime.
“This is the time to come to Pakistan when it is just going on the upswing. This is the time to invest in the country – and don’t miss the boat,” said Mr. Khan at the Madinat Jumeriah resort.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan all attended the summit.
Khan said Pakistan is already seeing “optimism and investors are coming into our country. We feel that this is the time that Pakistan will take off”.
He said Shaikh Mohammad had told him earlier “you must allow businesses to make money; investors must make profits. And the reason is simple… if they can make money, more people come and invest. So this is what we’ve done”.
Khan added: “We’ve started working on ease of doing business… we’re changing our tax laws, which were very cumbersome.”
He also recalled the history of his entry and rise in politics. He also pointed out that Pakistan has “the best tourism potential… Pakistan has probably one of the best mountain scenery anywhere in the world. Half of the world’s highest peaks are in Pakistan; we have 1,000km of coastline; the oldest historical monuments, as old as anywhere in the world; we have the Indus Valley Civilisation; ancient cities”.
Mr. Khan also mentioned about religious tourism in Pakistan, “We have the ‘Makkah’ and ‘Madinah’ for the Sikhs – the Sikh religion has its two holiest sites in Pakistan and we’ve just opened those sites for Sikhs.”