Today, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan attended a Q&A session in the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The full video can be viewed here:
This article is direct feedback on this endeavor.
Mr. Prime Minister, let us acknowledge the reality without mincing words: you came across as unprepared, amateurish, and unfit for projecting a positive, vibrant, investor-friendly image of Pakistan. You had half-baked plans that sounded more like a wish-list than a concrete investment strategy and which left the audience less than impressed by your visionary prowess.
Throughout the discussion, you kept coming back to the malaise of terrorism, instability, corruption, and human capital development in the past and the present. You tried to paint a rosy picture for the future, but linked it to stability in Afghanistan. Let me translate for you what investors heard: there are systemic problems of security, the country does not have an investor-friendly environment, and it will be some time in the future that these problems will be solved. Especially, security will only be guaranteed once peace is ensured in Afghanistan.
Your plan for investment is as follows. You want to create five million houses for a poor, uneducated, jobless population, and you are looking for international investors to finance this. Other than this, you advertised the presence of mineral wealth, and the possibility of connectivity to Central Asia. You had no concrete plans to engage investors in any of the above. In short, you shared a wish and a prayer.
All of this could have been very different. Instead of launching into a soul searching journey in front of international investors, you could have come forth as a persuasive speaker who is able to show the audience exactly how they can start to invest, what kinds of returns they can expect and in what timeframe. You could have presented concrete plans for your housing schemes along with names of departments which investors can contact. You could have presented figures for sums of expected investment, and the projected rates of return for the investors as well as timeframes. Or, if all of this is still a work in progress, you could have advertised these ongoing hectic efforts. As a persuasive speaker, you could have outlined the number of manhours being spent in chalking up these plans, and still provided contacts of departments where investors can stay in touch. You could have announced a reciprocal investor conference for more thorough and detailed talks.
You could have presented the existing needs of Central Asian markets, and how Saudi investors could cater for these needs via routes in CPEC. You could have shared exactly how you are aiming to prop up the mining sector, and how that would lead to job creation and employment opportunities.
Mr. Prime Minister, I could go on and on. But the point is, this is NOT how you are going to woo investors to Pakistan. You need a better economic plan, which means you need a better Minister of Economic Development and Commerce (if such a ministry exists). The Finance Minister is not going to pull this country out of its export problems. We need a Planning Commission that devises a solid plan to achieve the aims you have in mind.
I have held back from critiquing your housing scheme in this article. But let me take this opportunity to inform you, that in my humble opinion, this is the wrong initiative at the wrong time. I will share my thoughts on this point in the future. But I humbly request, that you get your act together, and formulate a better investment plan than what you have shared so far. I thank you for your kind consideration.
This Q&A program was better than the stupidity he committed by giving interview he gave to a rapistani reporter Kim Sengupta of brit-based muslim-phobe The independent. Now that 'desperate for loans' interview its all spread on the indian dailies and other western media.
Thus far he has failed on controlling the team under him like his doofus Finance Minister and corrupt bureaucracy. Pakistanis are wishing and hoping somehow he can avert IMF, its his real test.