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Aug 16, 2013
JEDDAH: Ahsan Iqbal Federal Minister for Planning and Development congratulated all Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia on the country’s Independence Day. He said Pakistanis are a patriotic people who are “not only resilient but hardworking and intelligent. Our forefathers gave us Pakistan as a homeland and the government in the country will give a bright and promising future to the new generation.”
The federal minister said every Pakistani has to work day and night for the economic transformation of the country. “Unfortunately, for the last 14 years no sustained efforts were made for economic planning. As a result, we failed to develop our economic relations, even with those countries with whom we have excellent political and diplomatic relations.”
Quoting Saudi officials, he said Pakistan has unparalleled historical and political relations with the Kingdom but the economic relations are not commensurate with this reality. Exports from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia stand at $400 million, which are very low. These exports are only 5 percent of the exports from India, he added.
Ahsan Iqbal said the new government was taking steps to market “Made in Pakistan” and expect to achieve the benchmark of $3-4 billion worth of exports in next two to three years.
He said the government would launch by Dec. 31 its Vision 2025 program, which will provide a solid road map to development in socioeconomic sectors.
The minister said the new government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was “all set to lead the country on a path to progress, development and prosperity by taking proper decisions, not populist decisions as the present situation warrants” . (Monitoring Desk)