Mian Zahid Hussain, chairman of the National Business Group Pakistan and president of the Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, said that doing business in Pakistan has become extremely Challenging. He added that only those foreign investors who have no other option venture into Pakistan.
Hussain said that the majority of foreign investors are not interested in technological development or exports, but rather local consumption. He said that only those foreign investors will invest in big projects who can get incredible returns, such as independent power producers (IPPs).
Hussain said that investors who want to do business in Pakistan have to get dozens of permits and NOCs from the central government, provincial government, and local government. He added that they have to face unprecedented corruption at every step.
For this reason, foreign investment is only 11% in Pakistan. If Chinese investors are not counted, it will remain only a few percent. Foreign investment in India is more than 29% and in China more than 35% of their GDP.
Foreign investors bring with them new ideas, new technology, and modern processes while increasing the skills and productivity of the local population. However, they are discouraged in every possible way, resulting in skyrocketing debt.
Hussain said that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Baloch separatists, the lawyers’ movement, and the recent riots have caused immeasurable Loss to the country’s image and economy. Investors are not feeling safe in the current toxic political environment, economic downfall, and increasing instability.
The government needs to take steps to improve the business environment in Pakistan if it wants to attract more foreign investment. This includes reducing corruption, streamlining bureaucracy, and improving security.
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