LAHORE - Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs, Asad Umar held an interactive session on Saturday with foreign investors who are members of Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) where he also shared his views on the current economic situation of the country.

President OICCI, Irfan Wahab Khan highlighted: “OICCI has always promoted the positive potential of the country for investment. OICCI members believe in Pakistan and have been significant investors as a group and in 2017 alone have made capital investment of around USD2.7 billion and USD10.4 billion in past 6 years”.

Finance Minister Asad Umar was appreciative of the contribution of OICCI members whom he termed as true ambassadors of Pakistan who have talked about the opportunities in Pakistan at all international forums and have also invested heavily in the country over the years. Finance minister, while sharing the salient points of the government’s economic recovery strategy, mentioned that the government is pursuing investment led export oriented growth model and that all government actions in the short to medium term will be aligned to this strategy. Minister also briefed the OICCI members about the key highlights of the economic reform agenda showing a clear road map for taking the country out of the current economic crisis. Asad Umar agreed with OICCI recommendations that digitization, data analytics and data mining will be leveraged to leap frog the government efforts towards good governance and more importantly for broadening the tax base.

Asad Umar confirmed that the country is out of the immediate balance of payment funding crisis and is working on a clear path for recovery and that the benefit of the revised economic strategy may be visible during the next six to nine months. He also briefly shared the Holding company model for rehabilitating the state owned enterprises. He also referred to the highly successful China visit of the PM and top leadership of the country and informed that the government is soon going to engage the private sector to leverage the benefit of CPEC projects by putting up manufacturing facilities in various sectors. Finance Minister assured the OICCI members that their concerns on delayed tax refunds, higher circular debts and issues of delayed remittances will be attended during the ongoing fiscal year 

Irfan Wahab Khan, OICCI President, offered the government the foreign investors full support in promoting economic stability and FDI growth by providing technical assistance in the form of successful strategies which has worked internationally. In this regard, Irfan Khan informed that OICCI is soon going to share a comprehensive “OICCI Digital Pakistan” recommendations to lead the country into an era of digital and financial inclusion and good governance. The OICCI President also offered the assistance to the government in improving the perception and positive branding of Pakistan.

The OICCI is the collective voice of all major foreign investors in Pakistan. Established over 157 years ago in 1860, the OICCI is today not only engaged in the promotion and protection of existing foreign investment in the country and to attract new foreign investors, its diversified activities contribute significantly to supporting commerce and industry across the country.

The nearly 200 OICCI members, from 35 different countries, 50 of whom are associates of the 2018 Global Fortune 500 companies, have a presence in 14 sectors of the economy and contribute nearly one third of Pakistan’s total tax revenue and have assets of over $90 billion.