Business

Traders express concern over plunge in FDI


ISLAMABAD:

The business community has expressed grave concern over 30% plunge in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan in the first half (July-December) of current fiscal year 2020-21.

Keeping that in view, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Tuesday called on the government to draft favourable policies in order to attract domestic and foreign investment into the country, terming it vital for steering the economy out of current challenges. In a joint statement, ICCI Acting President Fatma Azim and Vice President Abdul Rehman Khan said as per latest data released by the State Bank of Pakistan, the country received $952 million worth of foreign investment during July-December 2020.

Drawing comparison with the previous fiscal year, they said $1.357 billion was received in the first half of fiscal year 2019-20.

“This shows a 30% decline, which should be a cause of concern for the policymakers,” they said. “Pakistan’s economy is facing many challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in these circumstances, promoting FDI is a good option to improve overall economic health of the country.”

The two ICCI officials highlighted that many overseas Pakistanis as well as foreign investors were interested in pouring money into Pakistan but they wanted to see a more conducive environment coupled with consistent economic policies before investing in the country.

Azim pointed out that many countries and territories including China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea achieved rapid economic growth by focusing solely on FDI, adding that Pakistan should also pay attention to promoting foreign investment.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2021.

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