“Political stability is vital for foreign investment”

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LAHORE: The Secretary for Industries, Commerce, Investment and Skills Development (ICI&SD), Dr. Ahmed Javed Qazi, said on Tuesday that there are huge investment opportunities in Punjab, but a best policy is the need of the hour.

Addressing a consultation session regarding Pakistan Investment Policy 2022 at LCCI in collaboration with the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT), he said the government wants to develop a policy by giving investors confidence . He indicated that an action plan would be developed in light of the stakeholders’ recommendations and would be submitted to the federal government.

During the session, suggestions and opinions from the private sector were obtained for the development of an inclusive investment policy aimed at increasing investment in Pakistan. Participants made suggestions on green energy, transfer of technology, availability of raw materials, promotion of tourism, effective measures to facilitate business, reduction of imports and increase of exports, continuity of policies and the focus on local investors. “Political stability is also necessary for domestic and foreign investment.”

Director of Projects and Policy Research, PBIT, Sohail Qadri gave a detailed briefing to the participants. The ICI&SD Secretary said that Pakistan is one of the biggest markets as it is the fifth largest country in the world by population.

He said there are 10 special economic zones in Punjab but the number of such zones needs to be increased to promote investment. He said the Punjab government has sent recommendations to the federal government for the establishment of three new special economic zones. He said that PBIT is taking commendable steps to promote investment in the province. The efforts of PEIDMC and FIEDMC are also commendable.

LCCI officials said Pakistan is full of opportunities but it is not possible to encourage foreign investment without promoting local investment. Political stability is also necessary for domestic and foreign investment. They said local investor confidence must be restored for a desirable increase in foreign investment.

PBIT Chairman Fazeel Asif Jah said the current situation requires that facilities be provided to domestic investors. By doing so, not only will the national economy benefit, but the flow of foreign investment into the national economy will also increase. He said increasing FDI is not possible without a stronger currency, for which domestic investment must be increased.

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