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Economy is poised to take off

Economy is poised to take off

Interview with Tara Uzra Dawood – President, Dawood Global Foundation

PAGE: Tell me something about yourself and your organization, please:

Tara Uzra Dawood: I am CEO of 786 Investments, a Shariah-compliant asset management company, as well as President of Dawood Global Foundation, which holds the National Awards for Pakistan under its LADIESFUND platform and is educating one million girls globally under its Educate a Girl platform in partnership with Facebook’s foundation in several languages. I also serve on the board of Pakistan State Oil.

PAGE: How would you describe 2019 and what are your plans from 2020 as an entrepreneur?

Tara Uzra Dawood: 2019 was a wonderful year for expansion and growth. Our foundation Dawood Global Foundation is collaborating with the German Consulate to create a Women’s Center in Karachi. We are looking at more tech based solutions to enhance customer service.



PAGE: Do you deem Pakistan a success story in 2019 relatively?

Tara Uzra Dawood: Last year was a turnaround where Pakistan finally entered the IMF program and the economy had to be slowed down by increasing interest rates to reduce imports and slow down the economy to get the current account in balance. When the October current accounts surplus news came out after 4 years, the economy started to improve dramatically. The rupee has strengthened from 162 to 155 against the US dollar and the stock market has gone up 30% and long-term interest rates have come down 2%. We are expecting the State Bank to cut the interest rate in by the end of March 2020. This should result in the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) going up and new IPOs coming. With the Conde Nast Traveler, a luxury travel magazine aimed at upmarket tourists, has named Pakistan #1 next tourist location, it is easy to get foreign buyers/investors/tourists coming to Pakistan. With the PTI government’s soft image globally and diaspora support, every overseas Pakistani visiting us asks which stocks to invest in Pakistan.

PAGE: What kind of improvement could we see in 2020 in terms of business activities?

Tara Uzra Dawood: Export industries especially textile, are expanding, and new factories like the two Chinese JVs in tyre manufacturing, shows that the economy is poised to take off.

PAGE: What are your views on inflation in 2019?

Tara Uzra Dawood: It is expected that inflation would decelerate to 7% by the end of next year.

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