• The Associated Press

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Pakistan needs more private foreign investment in infrastructure, energy and other areas to meet the growing demands of its booming economy, the Pakistani prime minister said Wednesday in Tokyo.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, meeting with business and government leaders, said Japan — his country’s largest creditor — is playing a key role in the government’s campaign to renovate the economy.

“We have never had this much interest from the major CEOs of Japanese companies,” Aziz told reporters at a breakfast meeting.

Honda Motorcycle has agreed to produce a new model at its plants in Pakistan, he said, as the country aims to double foreign direct investment from $1.5 billion this year to $3 billion next year.

Aziz painted a rosy, dynamic picture of the Pakistani economy. Exports are booming, from $14.4 billion this year to $17 billion projected for next year and $20 billion the following year, he said.

Overall economic growth, he said, hit 8.4 percent this year, and the government has projected 7 percent growth for next year. The economy is enjoying a reduction of deficits, a stable currency and a growing middle class, Aziz said.

Thanks for yen loans

Kyodo News

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz thanked Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki on Wednesday for Japan’s decision to resume fresh yen loans, a Finance Ministry official said.

Aziz, who doubles as finance minister, told Tanigaki that Japan’s official development assistance, including yen loans, will help draw private-sector investment into his country.

He also said it would lead to stability in South Asia, the official said.

The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Japan will extend fresh loans totaling 16.36 billion yen to Pakistan.

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