newsdailyFebruary 24, 2021


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday inviting the Sri Lankan businessmen to invest in Pakistan said trade connectivity among the countries of Asian sub-continent was vital for poverty alleviation.

Addressing at Pakistan-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Conference held in Colombo which he jointly chaired with his Sri Lanka counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa, Imran Khan proposed establishing trade links, as existed among the European countries, which he said could prove beneficial for the prosperity of Asian sub-continent.

Imran Khan and Mahinda Rajapaksa led their business delegations at the Conference held in a bid to explore avenues of collaboration in diverse fields. The Prime Minister, who is in Colombo on a two-day official visit, said political stability in the region by maintaining good relations with neighbouring countries ensured business-friendly environment that resulted in an overall development of the people.

He said Pakistan and Sri Lanka could explore the idea of generating wealth through joint business activities and diverting the wealth to alleviate poverty. Imran Khan offered the Sri Lankan businessmen to explore the immense opportunities offered by the government of Pakistan in the form of ease-of-doing business.

He said his government would welcome and facilitate investment from the island nation. The Prime Minister mentioned that as Pakistan and Sri Lanka both suffered the brunt of terrorism in the past, their journey together towards development could make a difference.

He expressed intent for Pakistan to learn from Sri Lanka’s advanced tourism industry and mentioned that he made the tourism minister part of his delegation to explore the area. Imran Khan said Pakistan had a lot of undiscovered sites of religious tourism including the Gandhara civilization and trails of Buddhism, adding that a recently discovered 40-feet-long Sleeping Buddha could be of special interest for Sri Lankan tourists.

He said joining the Belt and Road Initiative could open up new avenues for Sri Lanka with an opportunity to connect from Gwadar up to Central Asian states. He expressed with satisfaction the professional emergence of Sri Lankan cricket team that had won the world cup at Pakistan’s home ground Lahore.

In an effort to maintain good relations with neighbouring states, Imran Khan recalled his offer to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir dispute. To encourage trade ties with neighbours, he said, “maintaining amiable relations and living like civilized nations must be a priority”.

Imran Khan emphasized that with 1.3 billion people, the South Asian region needed to resolve its mutual conflicts through dialogue for a sustainable prosperity. He said Pakistan could also play a part in reducing tensions between the United States and China, for the ultimate benefit of people across the continents.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said with Free Trade Agreement in place, Pakistan and Sri Lanka could exploit the potential of enhanced trade. In line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision, he said, Pakistan was ensuring ease-of-doing business particularly in housing and real estate sector to promote growth.

“We want to make Pakistan an economic hub with focus on peace, development and activity,” he said, adding that China Pakistan Economic Corridor would lead towards prosperity for the entire region. He invited the Sri Lankan businessmen to explore and benefit from the business opportunities offered by the government of Pakistan.

Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood said the existing trade volume between Pakistan and Sri Lanka did not commensurate their friendly relations and thus needed a thrust in their bilateral economic strategies.

He expressed confidence that close collaboration between the businessmen and investors of Pakistan and Sri Lanka could contribute to the stability of economic indicators. The Sri Lankan State Minister for Commerce said Pakistan and Sri Lanka could cooperate to fill the resource gap keeping in view their friendly relations. He proposed joint collaboration between industries of the two countries, besides engagement at people-to-people level in the field of education and health.

He lauded Pakistan’s change in focus from geo-strategic level to geo-economics, adding that Sri Lanka was ready to collaborate for South-South partnership in areas including pharmaceuticals.–APP

newsdailyFebruary 22, 2021


Prime Minister Imran Khan will embark on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka tomorrow (Tuesday). The Prime Minister is visiting Sri Lanka on the invitation of his counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa and he will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including members of the Cabinet and senior officials.

According to Radio Pakistan, The Prime Minister’s engagements include meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. He will also lead the delegation-level talks, covering all areas of cooperation between the two countries including trade,investment, health, education, agriculture, science & technology, defence and culture tourism. Besides bilateral matters, views will be exchanged on key regional and international issues.

The Prime Minister will also participate in a joint ‘Trade and Investment Conference’ aimed at promoting trade and investment between the two countries. A number of MoUs to enhance bilateral cooperation will be signed during the visit. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations and the two countries share commonality of views on a wide range of international and regional issues.

newsdailyNovember 16, 2020


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the Policy Committee overseeing the Prime Minister’s COVID Relief Fund review fund utilization details.

The fund was established in March 2020 to raise the amount for the COVID-19 affectees. PM Office Media Wing in a press release said, “The fund received generous donations from within Pakistan and overseas. Rs 4.8 billion accumulated in the fund of which Rs 1.08 billion was donated by international donors and Rs 3.8 billion contributed domestically,”

Earlier this year, the premiere had publicly announced two policies with respect to the fund, committing that it would be disbursed through the Ehsaas Emergency Cash to assist the COVID-19 job loss affectees.

Secondly, a “matching funds policy” was announced, which stipulated that for every rupee donated into the fund, Rs 4 would be matched by the government.

“To fulfill this promise, Rs 19.55 billion have been matched by the government – in total Rs 24.43 billion. This amount has supported 2 million families, each of them received Rs 12,000 as Ehsaas Emergency cash through this funding stream (out of the total of 15 million, who received Ehsaas Emergency cash),” the press release said.

There has been little transparency and trackability in the use of donor funds in the past.
However, the PM COVID Relief Fund has set a new precedent, in terms of transparency and track-ability of donated funds.

The press release quoted the prime minister as saying, “Pakistanis are the most giving nation. Their generosity is legendary. I want to give them the confidence that we are fully transparent with the use of all donor funds we receive,”.

To ensure sturdy governance and oversight of the fund, the PM established a Policy Committee to oversee the appropriate usage of the proceeds, including means of identification of the beneficiaries and the parameters of their selection.

The policy committee was also meant to decide about the means of disbursement and to take any appropriate decisions for collection of donations, maintenance and administration of the fund, and related matters.–APP

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