Diplomats stress improving Pakistan’s perception to attract FDI

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KARACHI: Foreign investors are keen to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan but the negative perception, excessive paperwork and red-tapism are hindering Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country.

Exchanging views at a breakfast meeting hosted by Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) in a local hotel on Tuesday, the diplomats of different countries deputed in Pakistan have underscored the need to improve the perception of Pakistan in order to attract maximum number of foreign investors who will certainly be interested in massive investment opportunities available in Pakistan.

The diplomats also advised the business and industrial community of Karachi to focus on diversifying their exports as staying confined to textile exports mostly would not yield the desired results.

United States (US) Senior Commercial Officer Steve Knode, Switzerland Consul General Philippe Crevoisier, Turkey Consul General Tolga Ucak, Germany Vice-Consul Ingolf Vogel, Turkish Consulate Commercial Attaché Murat Mustu, KCCI President Muffasar Atta Malik, and others also attended the breakfast meeting.

US Senior Commercial Officer Steve Knode, while commenting on strong trade ties between Pakistan and US, said that the trade ties between the two countries have been improving and today, the trade volume stands at an all-time high. “I have seen a lot of positive things and I will encourage US companies to take benefit of prospective opportunities in Pakistan”, he added.

He informed that the US has changed its global travel alert system in which countries around the world have been placed at different levels keeping in view their security situation. Pakistan is currently at level three, whereas some areas in the country are at level four due to security concerns. “Level one means that the country or area is completely safe to travel”, he explained and hoped that Pakistan’s current level will improve further in the US travel alert system.

Knode also extended full support and cooperation to KCCI’s delegation visit to the US this year and assured that the US will facilitate B2B meetings and other meetings with officials at Department of Commerce and Pakistan Chamber of Commerce in the US.

He also invited KCCI to participate in SelectUSA Investment Summit that is scheduled to be held in the US from June 20 to 22 which would help them explore investment opportunities in the US and provide a good platform to explore new business opportunities by interacting with global participants.

Switzerland Consul General Philippe Crevoisier advised KCCI to hold maximum interactions with their counterparts in Switzerland in order to improve the existing trade and investment ties between the two countries.

“Although potential exists but efforts must be made to improve the perception and image of Pakistan so that the potential can be transformed into a success story,” he added.

Turkey Consul General Tolga Ucak said that the business communities of Pakistan and Turkey must seek ways and means of enhancing trade and investment cooperation “It is time to shift focus from enhancing trade to encouraging investments as well in both the countries through joint ventures,” he added.

Germany Vice-Consul Vogel Ingolf, in his remarks, pointed out that Germany holds many trade and investment exhibitions throughout the year hence, the business and industrial community of Pakistan should attend these exhibitions which will surely bring the business communities of both the countries closer to each other.

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