KARACHI: To formally introduce its newly appointed President Bruno Olierhoek, Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) held a media briefing on Tuesday.
The briefing chaired by OICCI’s new president Olierhoek and Secretary General Muhammad Abdul Aleem, revolved around OICCI’s continuous efforts to bring foreign investment to Pakistan and government policies that can help increase it further.
Established in 1860, OICCI represents 190 foreign investors and its members contribute Rs47 billion in taxes each month, constituting 1/3rd of government taxes annually.
Its members include Nestle, Telenor, Engro Foods, Byco Petroleum Pakistan, and Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Limited to name a few. 50 of its members are associated with Fortune 500 companies.
“In the last five years, OICCI members have invested $7.7 billion whereas the total FDI of the country was $8.6 billion in this period,” said Aleem of the large investments OICCI members have contributed.
However, due to government’s unpredictable policies and uneven taxation, OICCI believes foreign investors who are outside Pakistan are unable to trust the country’s economy.
“There is a need for transparent and predictable policies to attract foreign investors, and this ad-hoc behaviour is a huge constraint in increasing FDI for the economy,” said Olierhoek who believes Pakistan’s economy is performing only 20-25 per cent of its potential.
Aleem also endorsed the president’s view and said that post-CPEC there’s a huge opportunity but both the governments, federal and provincial, need to provide incentives to foreign investors.
Conveying foreign investor’s concerns to the government, the OICCI has also recently sent recommendations on taxation and policy matters to the government so that ease of doing business can be provided to the formal sector.
“We don’t want more policies. We want the existing policies, whether good or bad, to be implemented first,” said the Secretary General.