Pakistan News

OICCI claims members invest $1bn annually

OICCI claims members invest $1bn annually

LAHORE: OICCI President Shahab Rizvi said a key bottleneck in Pakistan was the lack of predictable, transparent and consistent implementation of policies which sometime deter potential new investors from making large commitments in the country.

However, there are OICCI members who have been operating in Pakistan for many years continue to invest roughly over a billion dollars annually, he added.

A recent Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) survey results were shared, according to which, improved security situation, especially in Karachi, macroeconomic stability and better management of energy supply to trade and industry has contributed to improved business confidence.

The members of the body added in the survey that despite improved operating environment, investment, especially Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), continued to be at a dismally low level and does not commensurate with the country’s potential.

Shahab Rizvi talking to media said that OICCI members employ over a million people and contribute about one third of the total tax revenues of the country.

Mr Rizvi referred to OICCI’s recent Business Confidence Index, which at a record level of positive 22 – supported by an equally bullish feedback from foreign investors operating in Pakistan in the OICCI Perception Survey released in early 2016 – gives a positive indication of the improving economic environment and investment potential in Pakistan.

He also referred to Mckinsey & Company Consultants previous report which presented an in-depth analysis and recommendations for diversifying Pakistan’s exports. Among other things the report had suggested investment in pharmaceutical industry as an area of growth with tremendous export potential.

Mr Rizvi said that unfortunately the pharma industry was overregulated in the country and was not giving appropriate returns to its foreign investors who are also concerned about the protection of their patents.

He mentioned that Pakistan has no FDA certified pharmaceutical plants where as India has over 160 and Bangladesh has four.

Secretary General OICCI Abdul Aleem said that in its recent budget proposals to the FBR, the forum proposed that tax policies which lead to longer term investment should be protected for at least ten years phasing out period.

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2016

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