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KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain has said Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country is far from encouraging despite best policies.

No country in the region can match our investment policies as the focus should be improved on rule of law, honouring agreements, consistency in policies, and political stability, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that concerns of foreign investors should be allayed and the situation should be controlled before any major investor leave the country as it sends the wrong signal.

He said that during 2020 South Asia attracted FDI worth $71 billion in which share of India was $64 billion while Pakistan's share was a disappointment at $2.1 billion.

FDI in India rose to 27 percent despite pandemic, while it fell by six percent in Pakistan, he said, adding that from 2016 to 2020 FDI in India jumped from $44.5 billion to $64 billion while it was down from $2.5 billion to $2.1 billion in Pakistan which is not enough to meet the expanses of ten days of imports.

According to the World Investment Report, developing nations attracted $662.6 billion of investments in which Vietnam got $15.8 billion, Indonesia got $18.6 billion and Bangladesh bagged $2.6 billion. China, once obsessed with the stability, policies, economic model, and good governance in Pakistan attracted $149.3 billion in FDI in 2020 which should act as a wake-up call for our policymakers. The veteran business leaders noted that from 2015 to 2020 the FDI stock in India swelled from $318 billion to $480.3 billion.

Now, there is news in the market that some major companies are winding up their businesses in Pakistan which should be noticed by authorities, he demanded.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that commodity prices are rising in the international market, our imports are climbing while exports are not satisfactory remittances have reduced to some extent, while the government is on a spending spree to please the electorate for the elections to be held in 2023 which will bring the rupee under pressure.

The government will have no option to seek another IMF loan on harsh conditions to keep foreign exchange reserves stable, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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