Long-term investment plan on the anvil

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BOI tasked to identify potential sectors

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Taking note of the fall in foreign direct investment in the first four months of current fiscal year, the government is on the move to formulate a comprehensive strategy to induce both local and foreign investors.
Board of Investment has been directed to work out a long term investment plan for the country focusing on the sectors which have potential to absorb maximum investment and create more job opportunities.
The instructions to this effect were given by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while chairing a meeting here on Wednesday which reviewed the measures to attract foreign direct investment and improve domestic investment in the country.
The FDI declined sharply by forty eight point two percent to $316 million during July – October 2016/2017 as compared with $610.1 million in the corresponding period of last fiscal year, according to foreign investment data released by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) last month.
Ishaq Dar asked BOI to take input from the private sector to make the plan more inclusive and beneficial. The Plan, later, will be presented to the Prime Minister for further consideration.
Chairman BOI Miftah Ismail apprised the Minister on the current situation of the foreign direct investment in the country and steps being taken to make the country more attractive destination for investors both foreign and local.
The Chairman BOI said that as the country had been making progress on the economic front, there is a need to put in place measures to ensure an enabling environment by enhancing the ease of doing business in the country. The meeting also discussed measures to boost exports of the country.
The Finance Minister said that the present government since its inception has promoted policies that could facilitate the investment both foreign and local in the country. We have worked on improving the transparency in operations and taken measures to build on the image of the country in the World at large; now our approach should be to reap the benefits of the changed perceptions, said the Finance Minister.
The meeting was participated by Special Assistant to the PM on Revenue, the Secretary Finance, SA to Finance Minister and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.
According to financial experts, the country has great potential to attract foreign direct investment given improvement in security situation. In this regard, they also mentioned the Chinese investment in different sectors as well as those French and Korea in the auto industry. They were of the view that the government needs to give right kind of incentives and further simplify the procedures to encourage investment in the country.

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