Asad Umar lauds overseas investors’ contributions, assures redressal of woes

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  • FM says the benefits of revised economic strategy would become visible in next six to nine months

KARACHI: Finance Minister Asad Umar on Saturday appreciated the contribution of Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industries (OICCI) members, and termed the overseas Pakistanis as true ambassadors of Pakistan as they not only invest heavily in the country but also highlight opportunities in Pakistan at all international forums.

Umar said this while exchanging his views on the current economic situation of the country with the OICCI members during an interactive session.

The finance minister, while sharing the salient points of the government’s economic recovery strategy, mentioned that the government is pursuing an investment-led export-oriented growth model and that all government actions in the short to medium term will be aligned to this strategy. The minister also briefed the OICCI members on the government’s economic reform agenda, which, according to him, would take the country out of the prevalent economic crisis.

Asad Umar agreed with the OICCI recommendations that digitisation, data analytics and data mining will be leveraged to expedite the government’s efforts towards good governance and more importantly towards broadening the tax net.

He confirmed that the country is out of the immediate balance of payment crisis and is working on a clear path for recovery, adding that the benefit of the revised economic strategy would become visible in the next six to nine months. He also briefly shared the holding company model for rehabilitation of the state-owned enterprises.

The finance minister informed the delegation on the prime minister’s ‘highly successful visit of China’ and informed that the government is soon going to engage the private sector to leverage the benefit of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He assured the OICCI members that their concerns on delayed tax refunds, higher circular debts and issues of delayed remittances will be addressed during the ongoing fiscal year.

Speaking on the occasion, OICCI President Irfan Wahab Khan highlighted, “The members of the overseas chamber have always been vocal as foreign direct investment (FDI) ambassadors of Pakistan, as they have, for years, promoted the positive potential of the country at all forums. The OICCI members believe in Pakistan and have been significant investors to the cause of Pakistan’s economic uplift. In 2017 alone, the overseas Pakistanis made a capital investment of around $2.7 billion, while the number reaches $10.4 billion in last six years.”

He assured the government of OICCI’s complete support for economic stability and FDI growth, adding that overseas Pakistanis are ready to provide technical assistance by emulating successful strategies that have worked internationally.

In this regard, Irfan Khan said that OICCI is soon going to share a comprehensive ‘OICCI Digital Pakistan’ recommendations to lead the country into an era of digital and financial inclusion and good governance.

The OICCI president also offered assistance to the government in improving the perception of Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention that OICCI is a collective voice of all major foreign investors in Pakistan. Established over 157 years ago in 1860, the OICCI is today not only engaged in the promotion and protection of existing foreign investment in the country and to attract new foreign investors, its diversified activities contribute significantly to supporting commerce and industry across the country.

 

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