OICCI dismayed at falling level of FDI

September 16, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: The Managing Committee (MC) of OICCI, the premier body of nearly 200 leading foreign investors in Pakistan, expressed its dismay on the poor FDI inflow of only $ 87 million reported by State Bank of Pakistan for the period July – August 2014. This is a significant drop of 37% compared even to the very low base of same period last year.

Commenting on the dismal FDI inflow, OICCI President, Asad S. Jafar, said that it highlights the fact that “potential overseas investors are giving more weightage to security, energy shortages and transparency in governance, and ignoring the business friendly policies and the very good business potential in Pakistan”. For the record, OICCI members annually invest over US $ one billion from their retained earnings.

The Managing Committee of the OICCI whilst reviewing the business environment urged the federal and provincial governments to take emergency measures in order to attract higher FDI inflows as low FDI retards economic growth and has long term implications. OICCI offered to assist the authorities by sharing experience and expertise of members who have benefitted from investments in Pakistan.

The MC also expressed concern on the current level of engagement by the relevant government functionaries with the investment and business community, including OICCI. They advised that interaction needs to be substantially increased as government and business needs to work in tandem to meet the challenges of a developing economy. The main reason for a substantial FDI inflow and the high economic growth rate of Asian countries was due to a transparent governance and sound physical and institutional infrastructure. Pakistan needs to improve substantially in these areas to compete with the region for attracting higher FDI.

OICCI advised that recurring concerns identified in the annual World Bank Ease of Doing Business surveys, the OICCI sponsored six-monthly Business Confidence Index and OICCI members Perception and Investment survey needs to be professionally and timely resolved by federal and provincial authorities.

In conclusion Asad S Jafar, once again urged the Government to fill all the key vacancies in the Regulatory and State owned organizations and urged the Federal and Provincial Governments to introduce a robust accountability mechanism to build confidence, check poor implementation of policies and help counter the negative image of the country amongst potential overseas investors, as all these actions will ensure that the country moves rapidly towards realizing it’s true potential for economic growth, providing employment to the youth and development of the economy on solid foundations.

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