Pakistan a potential market for foreign investors: Mian Nauman Kabir


PIAF Chairman asks govt to take serious steps to win investors’ confidence
While raising serious concern over the declining tendency of foreign direct investment the Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir has said that the FDI has plunged by over 33 percent during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, indicating that the government has failed to win the confidence of foreign investors due to multiple reasons.
PIAF Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir, in a joint statement with Vice Chairman Javed Siddiqi, said that Pakistan has remained a potential market for foreign investors, who still have plans to make fresh investment in the country, but they have continued to wait for the return of economic stability.
Mian Nauman expressed the hope that FDI must grow over the next one year in the wake of stability in the rupee-dollar parity and improvement in balance of payments position in this fiscal year, as Special Economic Zones, which were under the development phase, would also attract investment among export sectors in the country.
PIAF Chairman said that despite significant improvements in the energy infrastructure and security condition, the government has failed to attract investment in the country. He said the drastic steps and political will can speed up the economic growth, which should be grown significantly and constantly for visible impact.
Vice Chairman Javed Siddiqi said a slowdown in the economy had badly impacted business confidence. It is must for the authorities concerned to first create an enabling environment for the local businessmen desiring to make new investment.
According to reports, China has remained the single largest investor in Pakistan over the last couple of years.
It has been mainly investing in power projects under its flagship and multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.
He said that in 2014-2018, foreign investors mostly poured money into the sectors which did not pose a risk to their profit margins due to rupee depreciation such as the power sector. It is appreciable that Pakistan’s economy is now gradually gaining growth momentum, which should encourage foreign investors to invest in new projects, he added.
Mian Nauman Kabir observed that it is good that the government is anticipating the GDP growth of 4% for the current fiscal year compared to projection of 3%, which is also possible, considering the low base effect of last year, achievement of comparatively higher growth in manufacturing and export sectors, bumper wheat crop in agriculture sector and current account balance in surplus, he said.
He urged the government to take practical and concrete steps for the implementation of business-friendly policies, saying the rising prices of electricity, gas and petroleum products were halting the wheel of economy.