NEW YORK, (SANA): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the high-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on Wednesday as a keynote speaker, urging trade as the path to economic development and not aid since it fosters dependency.
The Prime Minister was invited by the President of UN General Assembly to share his ideas and suggestions on the issue of Global partnerships for development to create jobs and improve sustainable lifestyles.
Nawaz Sharif said the development agenda should not be based on aid alone. He said that he was an advocate of trade and not aid, market access, economic partnerships, and transfer of technology and scientific know-how.
The prime minister added he was against aid because it creates dependency and stunts the growth of states.
Regarding poverty reduction, he also pointed out that despite efforts that have been made by the United Nations, “poverty is still stalking the earth.”
Sharif said his government was investing maximum time and energy in indirect interventions, in reviving the national economy and taking the economic growth from the present 3.6% to more than 7% in next five years.
This will give a strong stimulus to agriculture, industry, trade, and services and create millions of new jobs. The government is also giving incentives to the private sector to generate maximum employment, he noted.
The premier also called on Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who assured Nawaz Sharif of his cooperation in eradicating polio from Pakistan. Prime Minister also held meetings with Iranian President Hasan Rauhani, IMF chief, Chinese foreign minister and other world leaders.
Meanwhile Prime Minister had a meeting on Wednesday with the President of European Council, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy. The Prime Minister briefed the EU high dignitaries on the positive strides that Pakistan has made towards democracy by holding free, fair and transparent elections with a record turnout despite the security challenges.
The Prime Minister stated that his Government’s priorities include reviving the economy, overcoming the energy shortages, eradicating extremism and promoting human rights. Noting that EU is Pakistan’s single largest trading partner, Prime Minister stated that Pakistan’s inclusion in the GSP plus scheme in 2014 would further deepen Pakistan’s trade and investment linkages with the European Union.
The President of the European Council said that the EU attached high importance to its relations with Pakistan. He commended deepening of the democratic process in Pakistan and expressed appreciation for the positive agenda of the present government in Pakistan.
He expressed satisfaction at the elevation of EU’s relations with Pakistan to a strategic level and said that he looked forward to the second round of Pakistan-EU strategic dialogue to be held in Brussels on 15 October 2013.