The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has shown great concerns over falling foreign direct investment which has declined 38 percent in the first quarter of 2016-17 as it has come down to just $ 249 million compared to $ 403 million during the corresponding period of previous year. It stressed upon the government to take urgent measures to create an investment-friendly environment in the country to arrest this dangerous trend.
Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that Pakistan has been facing a continuous decline in foreign investment for the last several years despite possessing immense potential for foreign investors in various sectors of its economy. He urged that policymakers should devise a new strategy to attract FDI, especially in a scenario of continuous decline in exports.
He said Pakistan was heavily relying on foreign borrowings to meet its economic development needs which was not a healthy approach. He stressed that government should take all possible measures to promote foreign investment and exports that would bring more benefits to the economy and put the country on sustainable path of economic growth. He said as per SBP figures, Pakistan’s total foreign debt has increased to Rs.74 trillion, which is record high foreign debt in the history of the country.
Khalid Iqbal Malik said that rising foreign debt and falling FDI would constrain economic growth of the country as it would cause rising debt repayment obligations in coming times and put additional burden on financial resources of the country. He emphasized that government should focus on making policies that could attract more foreign investment and give boost to exports.
He said that government should make a comprehensive strategy for improving business climate in the country as its international ranking has also come down to 138th position in the World Bank Doing Business Index 2016 out of 189 economies. He said this situation calls for urgent remedial measures and revision of business related laws to upgrade them in order to make Pakistan a business and investment friendly country.