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New Saudi visa regime for businessmen

New Saudi visa regime for businessmen


According to newspaper reports, the Saudi Arabian government has decided to offer new visa regime for Pakistani businessmen, showing a clear shift of its vision about the country from a major labour supplier to a major business investor. A big chunk of the Pakistani investors is already focusing on new investment opportunities in various parts of the world, including the United Arab Emirates, Ghana, Kenya, Singapore and Malaysia since the government introduced imprudent business and trade policies. Instead of attracting foreign investment, the local investors have begun to transfer their capital to other countries with attractive business opportunities. Now the Saudi government is eying on the Pakistani capital and is ready to grant two-year multiple visas to the Pakistani businessmen who are members of the chamber of commerce and industry. The Saudi envoy has held a meeting with the chief of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and expressed the desire of his government to enhance business to business cooperation with Pakistani counterparts.

The unfortunate part of the Pakistani policy is that the officials go extra mile to entertain Arab princes and offer them free license to kill precious birds for sport. They easily compromise the honour and dignity of the country without tinge of conscience and it brings shame and disgrace to the nation. The Arab Sheikhs are also involved in immoral activities and have no respect for Pakistanis. When the apex court of the country banned the hunting of precious and endangered species, the government managed to reverse the decision, allowing the Arab Sheikhs and princes to freely violate the laws of the land. The government officials have failed to set up a respectable coordination with Arab officials, businessmen and even the with their governments. Pakistan, which offers them defense, labour and investment, is still regarded as the land of poor and thankless people. Thousands of Pakistanis have been robbed of their businesses in Saudi Arabia by their sponsors and they had to return to the country with empty hands.

The offer of the Saudi envoy should not be taken as generosity from any sense and commonsense must prevail to strike business deals with Saudi business community. The religion should not be given any role to play in the business deals as most of the Saudi businessmen often belie ethics and seldom follow religious codes. It is also time for the government to invite Saudi businessmen, who love to put their money in US and European banks, to invest in Pakistan, especially in the proposed industrial zones along the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.