ICCI urges govt to attract FDI in export sector

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Atif Ikram Sheikh urged the government to reconsider and reorient its investment policies with focus on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in export-oriented sectors that would help enhancing the value-added exports besides paving a way for export-led growth of the economy.

In a statement issued on Monday, the ICCI president said that the FDI in Pakistan has mostly been encouraged in power, telecom, chemicals, cement, auto and pharmaceuticals sectors, which were not the leading exporters. He said that countries like Singapore, China, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam promoted their exports by luring foreign investments in export-led sectors, while Pakistan has lagged behind in the technological advancements and value-added exports due to low concentration of FDI inflow.

Atif said that instead of focusing on FDI in certain lucrative sectors, the government should ensure that FDI inflow should play a pivotal role in facilitating technology transfer to the country, access to newer and larger foreign markets, capital growth, innovation and human resource development.

He said that the State Bank of Pakistan’s annual report 2014-15 have highlighted divestments and pullouts of foreign investment from various sectors of the economy including steel, cement, pharmaceutical, oil and gas in fiscal year of 2015, due to security factors as well as policy-related and regulatory constraints which damaged the economy and also stressed that the government should look into these factors to arrest the unhealthy trend.

The ICCI president urged that the government should encourage foreign investors, focus on aligning investment policies with growth objectives and diversification of FDI towards export-oriented sectors so that export-led sector could play a leading role in stabilising the economy by accelerating exports of value-added products.

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