ISLAMABAD, Sept 12: While the private sector has welcomed an Indian decision to allow its citizens to invest in Pakistan, security authorities, sources said, have asked the government to adopt a cautious approach instead of moving in a haste.
Sources said that the security agencies have already discussed the matter with the authorities concerned, including the Board of Investment and the foreign ministry.
The sources further said that they have identified stock market, steel, telecom and railways among the sectors where the government would have to protect its financial sector.
The private sectors of both the countries expressed enthusiasm over the decision and meetings are being held at various levels among the business community.
Even before the notification was issued, Godrej, a consumer electronic giant of India, announced last month that it plans to invest in Pakistan, said Majyid Aziz, former president of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Various business groups are already in negotiations with their counterparts in India and the general consensus is that the joint ventures would be appropriate to move in the desired direction.
“Both the countries have the potential to attract cross-border investment as Indians are strong in areas where we are weak and likewise we have strength in many sectors,” said Malik Iftikhar, Vice President of Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“It is all up to the private sector to determine their commercial interests which can change course rapidly, therefore the government is only a regulator and not a business guide,” said an official of the Indian High Commission.
The business leaders expressed confidence that Indians would be among major investors in the near future due to vast liquid reserves and well-known brands of international standard as they would be willing to expand operations towards Central Asia through Pakistan.