Bilal Qureshi has contributed another piece for PTH. The views expressed here are those of the author. (RR)
After a meeting between Pakistan’s President Asif Zardari and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, It was announced that an Italian Delegation led by Italy’s Prime Minster Silvio Berlusconi will visit Pakistan sometime this year to explore business and investment opportunities.
President’s spokesman told the media after the meeting that President Zardari had requested Italian Prime Minister to help stabilize Pakistan’s economy by encouraging investment in Pakistan. Italy’s Prime Minister directed Italy’s ambassador in Pakistan to develop an investment framework for Italian businessmen with collaboration with Pakistan’s government and business community.
For Italian business community, six areas of investment have been identified for further evaluation – energy, marble quarrying and dressing, gemstones, leather value-addition and agriculture.
It seems that president Zardari has made it a mission to encourage investment instead of aid in Pakistan. If you look at Zardari’s performance, his efforts to bring direct business investment in Pakistan from around the globe stand out as the most ambitious and aggressive strategy to rejuvenate Pakistan’s economy. Credit has to be given to Zardari that despite awful law & order situation in Pakistan, he has been able to convince potential investors to explore business opportunities in the country. And if Zardari and the present government are able to complete their term, Pakistan might manage to beat the perpetual cycle of inflation, poverty, and economic stagnation.
It is often said that Nawaz Sharif was a business friendly leader in Pakistan, but Nawaz Sharif failed to stabilize the economy or attract significant direct investment during his two stints as Pakistan’s Prime Minister. Now, Nawaz Sharif has an opportunity to become a genuine leader and help the current government, especially Asif Ali Zardari to demonstrate to rest of the world that Pakistanis are united and they are serious about welcoming global investment. But, Nawaz Sharif is playing a dangerous game of carrot and stick with President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani. Continue reading