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ISLAMABAD: The Board of Investment (BoI) has made significant progress on the 6th Doing Business Reforms Action Plan and Investment Promotion Strategy 2020-2023 aimed at making the environment for business and investment more friendly, easy, and less time consuming.

The reforms action plan was launched in 2020.

The BoI’s new investment promotion strategy focuses on proactively engaging investors in priority sectors and ensuring that the BoI provides the support and facilitation services needed to assist them with their investments.

Supporting existing investors to solve regulatory and other issues is a key part of the BoI’s commitment to serve investors in Pakistan.

Few key initiatives of 6th Reform Action Plan are online complaints by the Nepra, online banking account opening facility by the SECP, designating commercial courts in Sindh and national one window for trading across borders.

The new investment promotion strategy 2023 is impact-oriented and focused investor conceived market-driven projects.

This strategy is devised to attract investors, facilitate their startups, and nurture their long-term expansion and linkages.

The reforms it has made so far will help further boost Pakistan’s ranking on the World Bank EODB-2021 report.

In EODB-2020, Pakistan made sizable improvement of 28th notches and jumped to 108th place from last year’s ranking of 136th.

Pakistan’s investment to GDP ratio over the last five years was average 15 percent, whereas, the average ratio of regional countries such as Bangladesh is around 25 percent.

Every province had its own comparative and competitive advantage and providing enabling business environment was the key to make good use of this advantage.

Key reforms undertaken were held during last year and planned for the current year, which include simple tax regime, online facilities with respect to construction permit, and land registration.

Sindh government is working for improvement of business environment in the province after establishment of Sindh Doing Business Reforms Council (SDBRC).

A dedicated Doing Business Reforms Implementation Unit is coordinating with all the government functionaries, private sector organisations and all other related business stakeholders, so that anyone who wanted to start or run a business in Sindh could easily get licenses, permits, and other relevant permissions.

The Punjab government is also striving to implement a comprehensive reform agenda.

Obtaining a building permit has been simplified through the electronic submission of applications and integration of Wasa and Tepa with LDA.

A host of measures have been taken to facilitate registering property and contract enforcement in the Punjab.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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