(26 Feb, 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said with a population of almost 22 million and significant natural wealth, Pakistan has a potentially big market. Improving investment’s opportunities factors include better law and order situation, infrastructure and energy sector’s development. The poverty level has decreased by 10%, leading to higher purchasing power.
The positive GDP growth rate over the past four years resulted in the development of the country’s industrial and service sectors. Pakistan has steadily raised development spending in recent years, including a 50% budget allocation for development. The FDI attraction policy led by the government (privatizations, equal treatment between foreigner and local investors, tax incentives, etc.), and the efforts made in terms of economic reform are the pillars of Pakistani development, facilitating both local and foreign investors, He added.
The Government is carrying out an active foreign investment promotion policy, and has taken a number of economic liberalization measures to make the country more attractive for foreign investment. Country’s weaknesses have catered to a greater extent. Energy crisis have been resolved, Government has banned new power generation projects in order to avoid energy surplus. Terrorism has nearly ended and there is no established terrorism center in the country according to the Army Chief and Infrastructure in the Country is in developing phases, He added.
The veteran business leader said Pakistan offers a number of tax incentives for the establishment of industrial units in certain specific sectors: tourism, ports, highways, electronics and software. The Government has also set up special export oriented zones called export-processing zones (EPZs), in order to encourage foreign investments. Some of the incentives offered to EPZ investors include exemptions from all federal, provincial and municipal taxes for export-destined production, exemptions from all taxes and duties on equipment, machinery and materials, and access to Export Processing Zone Authority “one window” services.
The former minister said that the government also offers incentives to Export-Oriented Units, which are stand-alone industrial units allowed to operate anywhere in the country but have to export 100% of their production.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that sales tax and income tax refunds of the traders and industrialists should be paid immediately and issuance of notices in bulk should be avoided in order to make the economy and employment more better.