ISLAMABAD, July 20: The government on Friday decided to adopt new measures of attracting foreign investment as one of its top priority and asked the Board of Investment to frame internationally-recognised ‘rules of businesses.’

The decision was taken during a detailed presentation by BoI to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, the second this month, and officials are confident that the new measures would make BoI an autonomous body.

Foreign direct investment plunged by 50 per cent to $812 million in 2011-12, compared with $1.634 billion in the previous fiscal year.

In the previous meeting on July 3, BoI Chairman Saleem H. Mandviwalla recommended a ‘one-window operation’ strategy to enhance foreign inflows.

It has proposed to the prime minister that the National Industrial Parks, Engineering Development Board and the Export Processing Zone Authority to be placed under its administrative control since these also have similar mandate to BoI to promote investment and industrial development in the country.

Presiding over the meeting, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf approved the establishment of a Board of Investment Fund which would enhance the operational capacity of BOI.

He also directed the Ministry of Finance and BOI to clear pending projects involving around $1.8 billion of foreign investment, such as manufacturing of motor cycles with the latest technology, Lotte Group of South Korea’s project of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA), import of LNG and Centaurus, involving $1.8 billion of total foreign investment.

Meanwhile, Italian investors have shown interest to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan and Italian Ambassador in Pakistan Adriano Chiodi-Cianfarani met with BOI Chairman, who informed the ambassador that they were working to establish an Export Credit Fund to enable Italian investors to expand their businesses in Pakistan.

The Italian government has already agreed to provide a credit line equivalent to $10 billion for Italian investors willing to invest in Pakistan.

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