KARACHI: Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) President Irfan Wahab Khan and others members presented to the Prime Minister Imran Khan the key challenges in attracting sizeable foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country and also offered recommendations towards creating a conducive and enabling environment for FDI.
During a meeting with the prime minister held at the Governor House Sindh on Sunday, the OICCI members also shared his views on the current economic situation of the country.
Irfan Wahab Khan informed the prime minister, “OICCI is the largest chamber of commerce in Pakistan based on economic contribution and has always been in the forefront as FDI ambassador of Pakistan and promoted the positive potential of the country to potential foreign investors and diplomats.” He also said, “OICCI members Walk the Talk and have been significant investors as a group and in 2017 alone have made a capital investment of over $2.7 billion, and $10.4 billion in past 6 years.”
Wahab emphasized the need for “predictability and consistency of policy and its implementation, as the investors can take the market risk but have difficulty in managing systematic risk.”
OICCI expects that a new industrial policy will be developed during 2019 to give direction to new investment in the country. Irfan Wahab offered OICCI expertise in boosting FDI and on improving Ease of Doing Business and building up a positive image of the country overseas by sharing successful strategies which have worked internationally in boosting investment and exports.
OICCI members raised their concern to the PM on the long-pending tax refunds, growing number of interprovincial coordination issues, lack of harmonization of food standards among the provinces, and delays in settlement of issues like pharma pricing issues post currency devaluation.
Irfan Khan also presented to the PM comprehensive OICCI booklet titled ‘Recommendations on National Programme for Digital Transformation’, and stated that ‘if the recommendations are acted upon it would lead the country into an era of digital and financial inclusion and good governance and help in the positive branding of Pakistan’.
The OICCI Digital recommendations include matters related to telemedicine, e-education, digital literacy, financial inclusion, e-agriculture, entrepreneurship, broadband for all, digital government, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and blockchain.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was appreciative of the contribution of OICCI members whom he termed as true ambassadors of Pakistan who speak up about the opportunities in Pakistan at all international forums and have also invested heavily in the country over the years.
The prime minister promised full support to foreign investors in addressing their issues and also shared salient points of the government’s economic recovery strategy and promised to unveil in the coming weeks a proper economic reform agenda showing a clear roadmap for taking the country out of the current economic crisis.
He also praised the OICCI for the digital recommendations and assured that the government will act upon the recommendations and data mining will be leveraged to leapfrog the government efforts towards good governance in health, education, agriculture, and other sectors, as well as for broadening the tax base.
Imran Khan also shared that the government is working on a clear path for recovery and that the benefit of the revised economic strategy will be visible during the next six to nine months.