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ISLAMABAD: A delegation of prominent British Pakistani businessmen called on the Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar at the Pakistan House in London Monday.

The Prime Minister highlighted positive economic indicators resulting from reforms pursued by the interim government, including a strengthening Pak Rupee, reduced inflation, and expected economic growth. The removal of import restrictions and efforts to restore the business community’s confidence were expected to further boost external accounts, he added.

The Prime Minister spoke about Pakistan’s investment-friendly approach, mentioning incentives and ease-of-business reforms.

He introduced the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), chaired by himself, to streamline investment in key sectors through a single-window platform. This initiative aims to enhance ease of doing business, remove bureaucratic hurdles, and create a long-term investment roadmap.

Moreover, Prime Minister Kakar also shared the Government’s resolve and commitment to privatize loss-making state-owned enterprises. He therefore urged overseas Pakistanis to take advantage of the opportunities for investment in Pakistan. He also invited diaspora businessmen to invest, especially in Special Economic Zones, to contribute to Pakistan’s economic recovery.

The British Pakistani business leaders expressed their appreciation for the Prime Minister’s outreach to the diaspora and conveyed their strong interest in expanding their business operations in Pakistan while actively seeking to increase their investments in the country. They hoped that reforms undertaken by the government would continue in the long run and assured the Prime Minister of their support for putting Pakistan back on the growth trajectory.

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Tariq Qurashi Sep 26, 2023 11:32am
Encouraging overseas Pakistani businessmen to return to Pakistan and invest is a good idea, however it is unlikely to happen unless certain things change. For a start under the new tax rules under section 7E, if an overseas Pakistani makes the mistake of coming back, all his property, bank accounts and fixed assets abroad will now be taxed. This will make it very costly indeed for him to return. Also the red tape and rent seeking is so bad for a new investor, that he is likely to run away after a few months of being harassed by various departments of the government. Unless this unfair tax, and the complicated and investor unfriendly red-tape and bureaucracy are not tackled by the SIFC, then investment from overseas Pakistanis, or for that matter any one else, is very unlikely.
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