LAHORE - Both local and foreign investments scenario in Pakistan needs improvement through facilitation as existing investment does not match the potential of this country.

These views were expressed by the LCCI President Abdul Basit while talking to Board of Investment Additional Secretary Shahjahan Shah here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The LCCI president said that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is essential to impact positively on the productivity, progress, prosperity and economic stability. He said that though Net Foreign Direct Investment has recorded an increase of 12.4 percent in July-March 2016-17 as compared to July-March 2015-16 but historical statistics are showing a gloomy picture.

He said that FDI excluding privatisation proceeds has been fallen to $1601.6 million during July-March 2016-17 from $5276.6 million in 2007-08. He said that it is a matter of concern that investment of USA, UK, UAE, Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Germany has been considerably reduced.

He called for initiatives to remove the obstacles and hurdles that are not only hampering the growth of Foreign Direct Investment in the country but are also causing frustration to the local businessmen. He urged the government to resolve the issues like misuse of discretionary powers by the tax officials and other federal and provincial departments, raids at business premises and attachment of business bank accounts as these measures are airing a negative messages to the foreign investors.

Basit said that rising risk perception about investing into Pakistan is hitting hard the entire economy and needs to be tackled in consultation with the stakeholders. He said that Pakistani mission abroad should be given task to make Pakistan’s perception better in the eyes of foreigners and show them true picture of the country that is abundant with huge resources.

He said that foreign investors should be told that traditional and non-traditional sectors of Pakistani economy are open and offer huge investment opportunities.