Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar Tuesday requested Ambassador of Netherlands Henny De Vries to enhance the Dutch Fellowship Program for Pakistani students.
Ambassador of Netherlands Henny De Vries called on the minister at the Finance Division today. The discussions covered various aspects of bilateral economic relations between the two countries. Secretary EAD and senior officers from the Finance Division attended the meeting.
The minister highlighted the reforms being taken by the government in various sectors specifically those related to the expansion of the Tax net through the “Broadening of the Tax Base” initiative led by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), showcasing the commitment of the government to improve the Tax to GDP ratio of the country and reduce the current account deficit further.
She also requested the Ambassador to enhance focus on the Dutch Fellowship Program, which in the past was one of the flagship foreign-funded scholarship programs for Pakistani students.
Ambassador Vries congratulated Dr Akhtar for reaching the Staff Level Agreement of 1st Review of IMF Pakistan Standby Arrangement (SBA) and also on overall improvement in the economic situation in Pakistan.
Vries acknowledged the positive momentum in economic recovery, highlighting the resurgence of sectors such as agriculture, services, and even industry.
She specifically appreciated the initiatives taken by the government for financial inclusion, particularly those targeting women, and also praised the measures aimed at enhancing the labor participation of women across various sectors of the economy in order to boost the social and economic development of the country. She also expressed the commitment of the Netherlands to bring more investment into the country.
Pressing issues of post-flood rehabilitation and climate change impact on Pakistan, particularly in the context of the 28th session of UNFCCC’s Conference of Parties (CoP) to be held in Dubai were also discussed. In conclusion, the minister expressed a strong commitment to strengthening diplomatic ties with the Netherlands and making collaborative efforts for the benefit of both countries.