- ‘Foreign investors are reluctant to invest in Pakistan due to economic uncertainty, infrastructural backwardness and other bureaucratic hurdles’
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai has expressed serious concern over the declining Foreign Direct Investment (net), which stood at $1.3 billion in the first ten months of FY19 as compared to the inflow of $2.8 billion during the same period last year.
“The declining trend generally indicates that foreign investors are reluctant to make investments in Pakistan due to economic uncertainty, infrastructure backwardness and other bureaucratic hurdles,” the FPCCI president maintained.
Moreover, he highlighted, there is an increasing trend in the outflow of FDI, as approximately $1.3 billion were taken out of the country during the first 10 months of FY19 as compared to $591 million in the same period last year.
He further indicated that FDI inflow makes only 0.92pc of the GDP. “This is very low when compared to regional economies like Vietnam with 6.3pc of GDP, Malaysia 3.02pc, Maldives 2.5pc, Sri Lanka 1.5pc, India 1.94pc, Bangladesh 1.05pc, Turkey 1.5pc, Turkmenistan 6pc, Philippines 3.2pc, South Korea 1.4pc, Cambodia 12pc etc.”
He underscored that there should be an increase in the FDI from China and other countries in the backdrop of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a mega project committed to bringing investment from China and increasing the connectivity of Pakistan with Middle Eastern, European and Central Asian countries.
The FPCCI president urged the prime minister to promote investment culture. He also asked the government to disseminate the investment opportunities in Pakistan at the national and international levels so that the business-friendly investment policy in Pakistan, which offers many incentives to investors, could be highlighted.
“At present, the law & order and energy situation in Pakistan has improved, which indicates a favourable environment for investment in Pakistan,” he stated, urging the Board of Investment to take remedial measures in order to restore the confidence of investors and project the soft image of Pakistan.
Achakzai requested the government to ensure coordination among the federal and provincial investment boards so that the investment projects could be marketed in an efficient way.
He also urged the Pakistani mission abroad to highlight the investment opportunities and disseminate the information related to investment projects to the concerned investment agencies of their posted countries. “They may be given specific targets of foreign investment according to the market size of their country of posting.”