WASHINGTON  - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that the government has set an ambitious target for the economy in the next three years.

He was talking to US Undersecretary of Treasury for International Affairs‚ Lael Brainard in Washington. The Minister said the agenda includes reducing the fiscal deficit by half‚ doubling of GDP growth rate and increasing the investment by fifty percent.

He said the actions taken by the government in first four months have put the economy back on track. He briefed Lael Brainard about the efforts being made by the government to bring macroeconomic stabilization to the country.

Lael Brainard appreciated the bold decisions taken by the government to revive the economy. She assured finance minister of all possible help to achieve the targets set by the government. Later‚ addressing a gathering of Pakistani-Americans at the Pakistani embassy‚ the Finance Minister said the government is taking immediate‚ medium and long-term steps to meet the fast-increasing energy needs of the country.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has invited American entrepreneurs to invest in Pakistan to strengthen its economy. Talking to members of Pakistan-US Business Council in Washington‚ he said the government is committed to good governance and transparency to facilitate business and economic activity. Ishaq Dar said Pakistan offers vast investment potential in energy‚ gas and oil sectors. He assured full security to businessmen making investment in Pakistan.

The Minister said the PML-N government is focusing on addressing three inter-related issues including terrorism‚ energy and economy to achieve rapid development.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a US development finance institution, is expected to double the size of its program in Pakistan.

This was conveyed to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who met with OPIC President Elizabeth Littlefield as a follow up to her recent visit to Pakistan, an aide to the visiting Pakistani senator said. The finance minister informed Littlefield and her team about the government’s steps aimed at kick-starting national economy. These measures have restored investors’ confidence in Pakistan’s economy.

The president OPIC congratulated Finance Minister Dar on successful approval of IMF Program which had revived US investors’ interest in projects in Pakistan.

She informed the Finance Minister that OPIC had a portfolio of about $400 million in Pakistan.  However, after the approval of the IMF program and the introduction of investor-friendly policies, the size of program was expected to double in near future.

The OPIC, she said, was considering projects in Pakistan in the fields of wind energy and food processing.

Finance Minister Dar assured Littlefield that the investors would be provided maximum facilitation and infrastructure support and no project would be delayed because of lack of ancillary support.