KARACHI: The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has approached the caretaker prime minister with a request to set up an overseas investors task force in collaboration with his office to attract more private sector-led foreign investment.
The demand by the representative body of 200-plus multinational companies operating in the country comes on the heels of the establishment of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), Centralised Gateway Portal and reconstitution of various cabinet committees on investment and energy amid dwindling foreign investment, low economic growth, flat exports and a perennial shortage of foreign exchange.
In a letter sent to Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Sept 1, the OICCI said the proposed task force will provide advice and best practices on streamlining regulatory processes, enabling ease of doing business, enhancing investor protection, highlighting investment incentives, promoting human capital development and becoming global ambassadors for Pakistan’s investment opportunities.
“We request a meeting at your earliest convenience to propose our joint strategy, rebuild investor confidence and outline a plan of action to attract additional foreign direct investment to the country,” it said.
Speaking to Dawn on Thursday, OICCI Chief Executive M. Abdul Aleem commended the “intention” behind the establishment of the military-led SIFC to attract FDI but noted that the body lacked representation from the private sector.
“We like the government’s no-nonsense approach to FDI, but the new body needs to have a better structure,” he said.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Kakar told journalists he expected Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to invest up to $50 billion in the next five years. The figure appears inflated given the fact that total FDI in 2022-23 amounted to $1.45bn.
According to OICCI, its member companies invested more than $22bn in the last 10 years.
Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2023