Govt offers tax break for foreign investment in tourism sector

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The government of Pakistan is offering a tax break for foreign investors in the tourism sector in a bid to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.

The government has planned to invite foreign investment into the country for establishing tourism zones in potential northern areas, including Swat, Galiat, Hazara region, Gilgit Baltistan and other tourism zones, Chairman Board of Investment (BOI), Zubair Gilani told.

Gilani said huge foreign investment was expected in tourism sector as government was focusing on building this sector on a priority basis.

The chairman said the government intended to diversify tourism by exploiting its various sectors. “Priority of the government is to boost tourism of diverse fields including religion and faith, adventure, and medical and educational tourism to promote soft image of the country at the global level,” he added.

He said the government would ensure provision of all modern facilities to provide an enjoyable and secure environment to tourists, adding that it would also empower local community by engaging them in business activity.

Chairman BOI said the government would educate and train people working with tourism centers to make them valuable employees and to promote the concept of shared prosperity.

He was of the view that public private partnerships and the role of local community was imperative to attract domestic as well as foreign tourists.

He said after foreign investment in tourism, economic activities in these areas would increase, which would create more job opportunities.

Gilani said to promoting tourism culture through Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the government was working on World Bank’s Ease of doing Business (EODB) index. He pointed out that recently Pakistan’s ranking in the index has improved from 148 to 136 out of the total 180 countries. 

Chairman BOI said that the knowledge-based business and economy would be a priority of the government to compete with world economies. He informed that through knowledge-based business and exports “we can promote Pakistan’s hi-tech and innovative export items in competitive international market”.

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