Promising prospects for Pakistan to attract FDI
China, whose friendship with Pakistan is deeper than oceans and higher than the Himalayas, is investing billions of dollars in Pakistan that has the potential to revive the economy and bring state-of-the-art technologies to its industries. The investment in all sectors will start a new era of bilateral relations between the two countries.
In order to attract foreign investment, especially Chinese investors, it is paramount for Pakistan to provide maximum facilitation to the investors. Meanwhile, Chinese enterprises are supposed to have long-term business prospects in view and reinvest their profits in Pakistan, which is critical for economic growth and job creation.
The above views were given by Mr. Kashif Anwar, President, Friends of Economic & Business (FEBR) of Pakistan in a recent interview with Gwadar Pro. He mentioned that due to the pandemic and global situation, FDI in the first four months of the current fiscal year was not encouraging. He added that in spite of everything, investors from China and other countries should see Pakistan’s economic and geopolitical position in the region and retain their confidence in its future prospects.
Trade volume between China and Pakistan is increasing day by day. As per official figures, trade volume between the two countries stood at $17.49 billion in 2020. And this figure has already reached $12.56 billion in the first half of 2021, an increase of 63.0% over the same period last year. In Mr. Kashif’s opinion, the actual trade between the countries is higher than the official customs data. China and Pakistan should set up a mechanism to ensure that all imports and exports go through formal channels.
“China’s investment in Pakistan is one of the options which can make it possible to squeeze the skyrocketing trade deficit in Pakistan.” Mr. Kashif explained, “in order to increase Pakistan’s productivity and improve its business environment, Pakistan urgently needs advanced technology from China to promote the development of its industry, manpower and all the assets.”
The Pakistan China Business Investment Forum (PCBIF) is about to be launched, which aims to strengthen exchanges and communication between enterprises of the two countries, so as to open up new channels of cooperation. Mr. Kashif lauded this measure and highlighted, “if Chinese investors do not come to Pakistan, we will not be able to boost our industries. ”
“The majority of Pakistani businesses are SMEs which can play their due share in attracting FDI by setting up joint ventures with foreign investors.” Mr. Kashif concluded.