OICCI members meet Prime Minister to assure Foreign Investors interest in Pakistan
Islamabad (Muhammad Yasir) The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, held an interactive session on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 with the Managing Committee members of Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) at the Prime Minister House, Islamabad where he also shared his views on the current economic situation of the country.
Shazad Dada, President OICCI informed the Prime Minister that “OICCI is the largest chamber of commerce in Pakistan based on economic contribution and has always been in the forefront as an FDI ambassador of Pakistan and promoted the positive aspects of the country and the number of business opportunities it offers to potential foreign investors and diplomats. OICCI members Walk the Talk and have been significant investors as a group and in 2018 alone have made capital investment of over USD2.7 billion, and USD 13 billion in past 7 years”.
The OICCI team shared key findings of the recently released 2019 OICCI ‘Perception and Investment survey’, which indicated that an overwhelming 75% of the respondents will recommend new FDI to their parent companies, which is a very positive sign for the economic outlook of the country. The findings also show that foreign investors’ view of the GOP is better than what it was in the 2017 survey, with the government now more engaged with stakeholders on Policy issues, the government functionaries have better understanding and are more committed and capable to resolve investors’ issues. However only 10% of the investors are fully satisfied with GOP Policies and 6% are fully satisfied on policy implementation. The survey also reveals that the governments of Punjab and Sindh are perceived as less investor friendly than the case at the time of the last survey in 2017. The PM was also apprised of the fact that contract enforcement is a serious issue with 68 % respondents stating that as per their experience it takes over 5 years’ for resolution of commercial disputes.
The OICCI members also presented to PM the key challenges in attracting sizeable FDI in the country and also offered recommendations towards creating a conducive and enabling environment for FDI. Shazad Dada emphasised on the need for “focused international projection to dilute negative perception of the country, predictability, transparency and consistency of policy and its implementation as key factors for success’. He further requested the PM to direct the relevant persons to immediately address major issues of tax refunds and circular debt, actively and productively engage with key stakeholders like OICCI, ensure seamless coordination between Federal and Provincial legislations, make Ease of Doing Business visible and accepted by business, including through simplification of the tax regime and providing execution capacity and funding to Digital Pakistan Program for accelerated outcomes (in 2018 OICCI had presented to the PM Recommendations on National Programme for Digital Transformation), reduce number of regulators and regulations and do capacity building and accountability and deliver on promises, including on protection of IPR, functional SEZs and settlement of Pharma pricing issues.
The Prime Minister, Imran Khan appreciative the contribution of OICCI members to the economy of the country and termed them as ambassadors of Pakistan who speak up about the positive aspects of the country and 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 which he said will ensure sustainable economic growth in the medium term and set the country on a clear path for recovery and that the results of economic strategy will be visible during the next six to nine months.
Mr Imran Khan also appreciated the OICCI for sharing the recommendations for addressing investors’ concerns and assured that the government will act upon the recommendations.
The OICCI is the collective voice of all major foreign investors in Pakistan. Established over 160 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. The nearly 200 OICCI members, from 35 different countries, 50 of whom are associates of the 2019 Global Fortune 500 companies, have a presence in 14 sectors of the economy and contribute nearly one third of Pakistan’s total tax revenue and have assets of over US$ 102 billion.