Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) The Managing Committee members of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) recently held their annual interaction with senior diplomats of countries represented at the OICCI. The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange views on the current Business Environment and to share the OICCI perspective on opportunities for FDI in Pakistan.
Shazia Syed, President OICCI, presented key highlights of research conducted by the OICCI, including in the areas of Business confidence, status of security environment, perception of foreign investors in doing business in Pakistan vs regional countries and status of Intellectual Property Rights compared to other countries in Asia. Commenting on the FDI landscape, Ms Syed highlighted, “Foreign investors, who are members of OICCI, and are already doing business in Pakistan have a very positive view and good understanding of the opportunities in the country. This can be clearly seen from the fact that they continue to invest substantial sums annually to expand their business facilities. Over the last seven years they have invested in excess of USD 13 billion from their own resources compared to USD 13.4 Billion FDI, including on CPEC projects, received in the same period. The MNC’s are not only contributing in terms of duty & taxes to exchequer, but also improving the livelihood of people of Pakistan through its consistent contribution in CSR initiatives and promoting sustainable growth solutions by reducing the carbon footprint on our environment.”
The President OICCI also highlighted a number of opportunities for FDI in Pakistan, which have not been realized due to a lack of FDI focused ecosystem, concerns on governance, gaps in policy implementation and poor representation of the country at relevant international forums. Ms. Syed added, ‘OICCI members support the Government’s single minded focus on fixing the economic fundamentals, including broadening the tax base and documenting the economy. The time to invest in Pakistan is now.”
OICCI reiterated the need for a well structured, constructive and regular interaction between the government and serious investors, like OICCI members, to unleash the needed export led economic growth to cater for regional business opportunities also. OICCI member companies are actively pursuing a localization agenda of the present government to ensure positive impact on trade and payments balances.