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Need to attract foreign direct investment

Need to attract foreign direct investment

Pakistan is probably the only country in the world which is resisting to become a developed economy despite the fact that all the indicators in its favour. Pakistan is the 6th largest populated country in the world, 26th largest economy with regard to purchasing power parity, have vast agriculture land, a strong cottage industry, huge mineral and coal reservoirs, and powerful large scale industry, but it is still poor according to the international standards. Unfortunately, no effort has been made so far to find the fault line. Why the poorest countries are progressing with leaps and bounds and what is hindrance in the way of Pakistan’s development is the question which needs an answer. The country has think-tanks on various subjects, a highly qualified bureaucracy and a patriotic political elite, but the country is not making progress with a speed according to its potentials. To find the causes of backwardness, political institutions, commerce, trade and industrial associations as well as intelligentsia will have to come together to discuss the issues and find solutions.

The MSCI has recently announced that it is going to upgrade Pakistan’s status from frontier market to emerging market and the move is being seen as a major leap towards attracting huge investment from world financial institutions. Following the announcement of the upgradation of the status, its stock market has started soaring and is emerging as the best performer in the South Asian region. However, Pakistan will have to fight international propaganda launched against it by some hostile countries, including India. There is also need to bring drastic changes in the country’s laws to attract foreign investment and one of which is to give tax relaxations and international guarantees for the safety of the foreign capital in Pakistan. The country offers best attractions for the foreign tourists and a comprehensive tourist policy is the need of the hour to improve soft image of Pakistan. This will also pave the way for foreign investment in the country.

According to experts, the country’s economy is growing at the fastest rate, but portion of foreign direct investment in the country’s economy is only one billion dollars which is nothing in such a huge country whereas Indonesia received $29 billion investment last year alone. The foreign investors will come to Pakistan at any rate if they are given tax concessions and free economic zones with full security. Every businessman wants to make profit and Pakistan is the land of opportunities. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor project can be used to attract direct foreign investment in the proposed export processing zones which will be built alongside it.