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ISLAMABAD: The concerns of the overseas Pakistanis and foreign investors in the real estate sector need to be addressed by empowering the Board of Investment (BOI) to provide one-stop shop for completion of all steps and legal formalities on fast-track basis, for encouraging new investment in the sector.

Talking to Business Recorder here on Tuesday, CEO of Eighteen housing project, Tarek Hamdy stated that the tax incentives, waivers and subsidies for builders, developers and property owners would increase investment in the real estate sector, while the proposed Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) to promote, encourage, facilitate the private construction industry and encourage investment and formulation of A Real Estate Regularity Authority [RERA] to regulate the sector with regard to property transactions among other functions would also help bring transparency in that sector that would boost investor confidence.

While talking about the recent situation of real estate market of Pakistan and challenges faced by foreign investors in Pakistan, Tarek Hamdy believed that the BOI needed to be empowered specifically for investors, so that there should be one-stop shop, where the foreign investors came in and would be provided all the services very quickly without having to face difficulties in routine legal formalities.

He further said the BOI should do all the communication with all the relevant government bodies such as the NHA, the RDA, the CDA, the SNGPL, etc because it was quite difficult for foreign investors to understand where they needed to go and what to do on arrival.

While commenting on the investment in real estate, he said the overseas Pakistanis were now looking for secure and better investment rather than making cash remittances.

Especially after pandemic situation, Pakistanis living abroad are worried due to situation of investment in international markets and they are more concerned about their future investments.

Hamdy thinks that the major challenge is the final product for investors coming from outside Pakistan to fulfill their aspiration, and what they relate to and providing them with the quality what they are used to getting in the West.

To counter the declining economic situation, the government announced a Rs100 billion relief package for the construction sector in April this year.

In many parts of the world, the real estate sector is considered the backbone of their economies and same goes for Pakistan also.

Now the current government of Pakistan forges ahead with plans and incentives to boost construction activity across the country that will help in the revival of the economy through real estate investment, and foreign investment in this sector will play a key role in economic growth.

However, foreign investors usually face hindrance in routine matter related to government institutions regarding approvals, facilitations etc.

Talking about project Eighteen, he said that Eighteen would be an example of flagship destination in the country, it would revolutionise the real estate market in the country to show that you can have it in Dubai, you can have it in Oman, you can have it in many countries around the world but you can also have it in Pakistan.

It will serve as a model for the next generation of developers who will think about quality lifestyle.

Hamdy considers Pakistan as one of the most beautiful land of the world and he sees huge potential in tourism also.

He said the country's economy needed to count more on foreign investors in the field of tourism because Pakistan had beautiful sites, and elite estate also had expansion plans in other cities including northern zone of Pakistan to contribute to tourism agenda of Pakistan that would give economic boost in terms of real estate as well as tourism and local development.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020