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Luring Chinese investment a Top Priority for Pakistan: Business leader

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Feb 15, 2022

KARACHI, Feb 15.(Gwadar Pro)- Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum Mian Zahid Hussain said on Monday afternoon that luring Chinese investment was “at the top” in Pakistan.

Addressing a gathering of prominent businesspeople here, he stressed that there was a need to improve the confidence of Chinese investors in Pakistan.

“Pakistan lacks a proper industrial environment otherwise industries from China would prefer Pakistan instead of Vietnam, Mexico and other distant countries,” he maintained.

He added: “Wages in Pakistan are seven to ten times less than in China and acceptance for Chinese investment is at the top in Pakistan but the Chinese businessmen can ignore Pakistan in the relocation of their industrial units if we don’t facilitate them.”

The industrial sector, he maintained, was already sinking under the burden of taxes and if a new mini-budget was introduced, thousands of factories would be closed and the life of the people would become more difficult.

Hussain warned that the country will always be on the back foot if the people do not get employment. , the government does not get revenue and exports do not pickup and industrialization is ignored.

He mentioned that efforts had been made for decades to turn the country into a trading state and a graveyard of industries.

“How can a country progress where every other sector of the economy is being given priority over the industry due to which industrialists are locking down their factories and turning to stock exchanges, automobiles and property markets,” Hussain questioned.

He pointed out that many industrialists had relocated their business to other countries where the environment was conducive for the industrial sector.

Hussain further said that real reforms were needed in tax administration and other areas of the economy. “The continuous increase in these direct taxes is reducing the income of the people while the tax burden on them is constantly increasing, which is resulting in serious problems,” he contended.

 

He informed that the volume of industry in Pakistan is up to 22% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on which the tax burden was up to 60% while the volume of agriculture was equal to the industrial sector on which the tax burden is 1%.

 

“Similarly, the tax burden on the stock business, property business and other sectors is very low due to which investors are not interested in industrialization and we also have to import needles,” Hussain stated.

 

He suggested that the country would have no economic future unless the industrial sector was given top priority by making fundamental changes in economic policies.

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