Govt pursuing economic progress agenda through massive reforms, structural changes: PM

May 13, 2024

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday reiterating his government’s “sharp focus” on economic advancement said it was pursuing its agenda of growth through massive reforms and structural changes.

“My government is totally committed to bringing huge reforms and huge structural changes. We are inching towards that direction, as, otherwise, it will be a futile exercise and will not produce proportionate results. We are absolutely focused on the agenda of reforms,” the prime minister said in an interview with Saudi state-own television channel Al Arabiya.

The prime minister told the interviewer that Pakistan was faced with huge challenges at the macroeconomic level like GDP growth ratio, huge loans, energy shortage, weak power transmission system, line losses and expensive power generation. Other challenges include revenue generation, corruption, lack of utilisation of technology, and lack of monitoring and supervision, he added.

The prime minister spoke high of the Saudi leadership and their cooperation with Pakistan, saying that the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations go back to centuries and there was no parallel of this relationship in the globe.

“We are brothers. We understand each other and share each other’s grief and happiness. We are partners in progress and prosperity, not only in the two countries but also in the region,” he remarked while explaining to a question as to why every Pakistani leader opted to pay a first foreign visit to the Kingdom after assuming office.

Referring to recent high-level interactions between the two countries, he mentioned his two meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Kingdom, the visit of Saudi foreign minister and a huge Saudi business delegation to Pakistan recently. This shows that the Saudi leadership is very serious and sincere to enhance relations with Pakistan not only in diplomacy but investment, trade, culture and between the youth of two countries, he added.

Shehbaz Sharif said that during his Saudi visit, he had the “most intense and comprehensive” discussion with Saudi authorities wherein two sides had agreed to cooperate.

He applauded the progress achieved by the Kingdom under the Saudi crown prince’s leadership, and his Vision 2030, calling it a role model for many countries.

Asked about the outcome of recent interactions, the prime minister said, “We have achieved great progress. We have identified areas of cooperation – both B2B and G2G. Now there is a clear-cut way forward for mutual cooperation in investment, mines, minerals and renewable energy.”

He said Pakistan was still an agrarian economy and, using modern technologies, both countries could enhance cooperation to produce fruits, vegetables, wheat, sugarcane, and sunflower to convert them into value-added products and export to Gulf region and other countries. Similarly, Pakistan could help provide its skilled IT manpower to the Kingdom to help grow both economies.

He said other countries like Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Turkiye and China could also become partners in this fields and help bring an economic revolution.