ISLAMABAD-Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has asked the government to address major issues of tax refunds and circular debt.

The OICCI has also asked to productively engage with key stakeholders like OICCI, ensure seamless coordination between federal and provincial legislations, and make Ease of Doing Business visible and accepted by business. The delegation of OICCI has made these demands in a meeting with Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan.

Shazad Dada, President OICCI, informed the Prime Minister that OICCI is the largest chamber of commerce in Pakistan based on economic contribution and has always been in the forefront as an FDI ambassador of Pakistan.

The member companies account for 3rd of the tax revenue, provide employment to over a million people and are important contributors to the exports revenue.

The OICCI team shared key findings of the recently released 2019 OICCI ‘Perception and Investment survey’, which indicated that an overwhelming 75% of the respondents will recommend new FDI to their parent companies, which is a very positive sign for the economic outlook of the country. The findings also show that foreign investors’ view of the GOP is better than what it was in the 2017 survey, with the government now more engaged with stakeholders on policy issues, the government functionaries have better understanding and are more committed and capable to resolve investors’ issues. However only 10% of the investors are fully satisfied with GOP policies and 6% are fully satisfied on policy implementation. The survey also reveals that the governments of Punjab and Sindh are perceived as less investor friendly than the case at the time of the last survey in 2017. The PM was also apprised of the fact that contract enforcement is a serious issue with 68 % respondents stating that as per their experience it sometimes takes over 5 years’ for resolution of commercial disputes.

The OICCI members also presented to PM the key challenges in attracting sizeable FDI in the country and also offered recommendations towards creating a conducive and enabling environment to increase for the FDI. Shazad Dada emphasised on the need for “focused international projection to dilute negative perception of the country, as well as predictability, transparency and consistency of policy and its implementation as key factors for success’. He further requested the PM to direct the relevant persons to immediately address major issues of tax refunds and circular debt, actively and productively engage with key stakeholders like OICCI, ensure seamless coordination between federal and provincial legislations, and make ease of doing business visible and accepted by business.

Prime Minister, Imran Khan appreciated the contribution of OICCI members to the economy of the country and termed them as ambassadors of Pakistan who speak up about the positive aspects of the country and the opportunities in Pakistan at all international forums and have while continuing to invest also invested heavily in the country over the years. The Prime Minister promised full support to foreign investors in addressing their issues and also shared salient points of the government’s economic recovery strategy which he said will ensure sustainable economic growth in the medium term and set the country on a clear path for recovery and that the results of economic strategy will be visible during the next six to nine months.

Imran Khan also appreciated the OICCI for sharing the recommendations for addressing investors’ concerns and assured that the government will act upon the recommendations.