Islamabad: The US Energy team led by Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Ambassador Carlos Pascual currently visiting Pakistan met with the Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh here today.
This visit is the continuation of the Pak-US strategic dialogue on energy which was started in 2009 when the US Secretary of State Ms. Hillary Clinton announced the energy programme in October, 2009.
The US delegation had wide ranging talks on cooperation between Pakistan and United States. The Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs while talking the US team emphasized, on the technical support and shared understanding with US for the resolution of technical issues Pakistan is facing in the energy sector.
Financial support is an important aspect of the shared understanding for the implementation of certain power projects we have started here in Pakistan and Pakistan’s narrative in terms of finance be fully articulated there in US, the Minister said.
He highlighted a number of areas when there is a capacity for American investment particularly in the Hydro Power, exploitation of coal reserves in Pakistan, and LNG Projects. And he added that we are focusing certain new areas also which would help us in our resolve to end load shedding.
The Minister also said that the government is committed to strengthing the energy sector for the overall economic development. In order to achieve the target of the overall economic development the government attaches tremendous importance to the revamping of the electric power sector through structural reforms including good corporate governance and strengthing of the regulatory system.
The Minister also highlighted that structural reforms process by the Cabinet Committees on Restructuring and Privatization of Public Sector Enterprises who are striving hard to bring the change in a sudden and transparent manner and in this account he mentioned the reconstitution of the Board of Directors of the state power generation and distribution companies bringing corporate oriented person ell in to them selected on open merit from the open market. Our this endeavour has started bearing fruits but lot more has to be done in this direction, he added.
During the talks the visiting team leader Mr. Carlos Pauscal emphasized that the US is fully committed to work with Pakistan in the changing political and economic landscape. He said that Pakistan has done a commendable job in economic reforms.
He stressed Pakistan for indicating strategically targeted projects where the US can come up with technical and financial support, and in this connection he also emphasized that ways and procedural matters be fully discussed as there is an investment involved of millions of dollars in it.
Later, the Minister for Finance briefed the US envoy on the ongoing work being done by the Cabinet Committee on the load shedding, constituted by the Prime Minister, and highlighted the recommendations of the Committee on the resolution of the circular debt and hoped that issue shall shortly be resolved.
And gave a resume of the accomplishment that the liberal incentives in the economy of the present government which led to an upward trend noted in the remittances up to more than $ 11 billion, twenty percent increase in exports growth and a historic record of $ 24 billion exports and more than $ 17 billion in Foreign Exchange Reserves.
It may be added here that the strategic dialogue between Pakistan and United States started October, 2009. The Secretary of State Ms. Hillary Clinton announced the signature Energy Programme in October, 2009, followed up by phase-II of the programme in July, 2010.
The last energy dialogue were held on October 23, 2010, when the then Secretary of State Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Mr. David L. Goldwyn visited Pakistan leading a delegation, which led to US participation and involvement in many projects (Hydel and Thermal) power generation and rehabilitation of many Thermal Plants.
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