Foreign Investors bullish on Pakistan – OICCI members invested $2.7 bn in 2017
ISLAMABAD: The Managing Committee of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), led by the President, Irfan Wahab Khan had an informal interaction with senior media dignitaries on September 11, in Islamabad to share their latest survey of OICCI members investment in Pakistan and foreign investors perspective of the current situation and opportunities for investment growth.
OICCI also shared their recommendations to the PTI lead Government of Pakistan on promoting FDI in line with the potential of the country.
Commenting on the survey findings, OICCI President Irfan Wahab said that “during 2017, despite a challenging and instable environment, OICCI members invested a record $2.7 billion in expanding their business footprint in Pakistan. This is at par with the total new FDI received in the country during 2017-18. OICCI members investment in 2017 was 20 percent higher than the previous year and was mainly in the Energy, Chemicals and Telecom sector”.
The survey was participated by 130 out of a total 190 members and reflected OICCI members total assets at $90 Billion with a 2017 revenue of over $36 Billion. Once again OICCI members emerged as the largest tax contributors in the country with a total contribution in excess of Rs. 1 (one) Trillion. Irfan Wahab added “the 2017 OICCI members survey re-affirms the confidence of existing foreign investors, who believe in the high economic and investment potential of Pakistan. OICCI Security survey conducted in June 2018 exclusively among the foreign investors has also confirmed significant improvement in the security environment in Pakistan supported by substantial increase in the number of overseas visitors since 2014 including staff from overseas Head quarters of leading MNC’s.”
Commenting on the OICCI’s recommendations for accelerated economic growth, OICCI President, representing the collective view of the 190 members, was confident that “the new government will soon take some bold measures to put the economy on solid growth trajectory in line with the great potential of the country. OICCI members have recommended measures to boost business confidence through policy announcements on matters relating to taxation, debt management, reform in FBR and tax regime and measures to boost FDI, as well as improving Ease of Doing Business in Pakistan. Pakistan currently attracts low FDI, which is less than one percent of its GDP against the norm of three percent in the regional countries”.
Looking ahead, OICCI is positive about substantial growth in the FDI, in addition to CPEC investment, due to competitive advantage to Pakistan supported by a more focused approach by the Government towards growth oriented economic and trade policies. The need to continue aggressive documentation of the economy to broaden the tax base will significantly strengthen the revenue base of the country. Furthermore there are immense opportunities to transform Pakistan into “Digital Pakistan” with the objectives to increase ease of doing business, enhance transparency, improve Govt2Govt, Govt2Citizen services, thereby encouraging longer term investment into Services sector and export oriented industries.
“OICCI is committed”, Irfan Wahab concluded “to support the government in managing many of the challenges through active engagement and support on many fronts including standing up for Pakistan at international and national forums to share the success stories and experience of its members. On September 11th, OICCI had an interactive session with diplomats of 35 countries represented at OICCI, giving a comprehensive overview of the experience and opportunities for foreign investors in Pakistan.”
OICCI is the largest chamber of commerce in Pakistan in terms of economic contributions. OICCI members employ around one million people and are leading stakeholders on the CSR front benefiting a very large population all over the country.