LAHORE  - If law and order situation is controlled Pakistan can bring foreign investment of up to $20 billion within few months by starting projects of Bhasha Dam, coal power projects and motorways.

This was observed by Rashid Mehr, the Chief Executive Officer of TUV Austria Bureau of Inspection & Certification, formerly Moody International (Pvt) Ltd.

He said that with total sovereign debt touching Rs16 trillion, requiring huge amounts for debt servicing, Pakistan has a genuine need to raise tax revenues to cover the budget deficits. The only way to come out of this situation is by targeting to double the size of our economy from $ 213 billion to $400 billion in 2020. He said that the private sector and small businesses can be the engine of this economic expansion. The government would be well served by a strategy to encourage the entrepreneurial class rather than scaring it away with measures such as FBR’s access to bank accounts data and imposition of wealth tax assessments. As the private sector starts to sense a favorable and comfortable business environment, it will begin to invest within the country.

Luckily the PML-N government enjoys credibility and sound relationship with China and the Arab world, who have been the key investors in Pakistan during 2000-2007. This cordiality will come handy and the government must assign the task of courting FDI into Pakistan to its most capable team members. Mehr disclosed that TUV Austria Bureau of Inspection & Certification has invested $2.5 million in Pakistan despite critical situation.

“The law and order is major cause of decline in local and foreign investment and if government fails to respond to private sector’s call, the economy will continue to slide ultimately resulting in closure of industry and trade.”

If the law and order situation is under control and energy is made available to the industry around-the-clock, then it will encourage local investors and foreign investors will also be ready to initiate joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts, creating more jobs for the unemployed youth,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of TUV Rashid Mehr, who is also president of the All Pakistan Business Forum, urged the government to take serious notice of soaring graph of terrorism and law & order situation in the country and immediately initiate steps to arrest fast surging crime graph.

He said that economic conditions will not improve unless law and order in Karachi in particular and upcountry in general is seriously tackled.

The new government should devise some unanimous policy against terrorism with the help of military and implemented it immediately, as Foreign Direct Investment is directly linked with law & order.