KARACHI: The executives of prime and developing industrial export-oriented sectors have urged the trade officers of commercial sections in Pakistan embassies and high commissions to work on increasing country’s exports to major importing countries.
This stride would help to further increase the exports of Pakistan besides growth in national economy that would strengthen economic health along with improvement of security situation in Pakistan. The trade officers should also take advantage of opportunities offered by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and only political will and drastic steps can revive the economy.
They advocated the need for raising country’s tax base so that tax-to-gross domestic products (GDP) ratio should also be improved from current 9 percent.
Agha Saiddain, Ghulam Rabbani, Ibrahim Qureshi, Shakeel Ahmad, Sanaullah Khan and Qamar Qureshi, executives of tanning, textile, business forum, agriculture sector, marble and minerals, economic forum and others segments of trade business have observed trade officials can also play a vital role for presenting good governance, portraying bettering security perception and political stability for enhancement in foreign investment, they were of the view.
The country fetched $2.41 foreign direct investment (FDI) during July-June 2017, compared to $2.305 billion in same period of last fiscal year, depicting an increase of $105.6 million.
During the period, FDI inflows were less than FY16, however lower outflows posted some increase in the overall FDI. Net FDI inflows stood at $2.813 billion against the outflow of $403 million in FY17. They said country’s liberal policies of investment offered one of the most attractive investment regimes in the region. Pakistan’s trade with European Union has also increased substantively after grant of generalised system plus status to Pakistan.
The positive efforts of the trade commissioners would help in improvement of trade and imply interest of foreign investors. According to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), after a very long time FDI has shown an upward trend and rose by 4.6 percent during last fiscal year.
Economic managers in government should also take measures for resolving challenges being faced by Pakistan in European markets, they suggested.
China topped the contributors to FDI as its investment accounted for about 50 percent. Major inflows were received from Netherlands, Turkey, France and UK during July-June of FY17.
China’s total investment in Pakistan stood at $1.23 billion, including $1.186 billion FDI and $48.4 billion Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) during FY17.
The global economic outlook remained positive, despite a slight drop in confidence, compared to the last couple of years, according to Global Economic Conditions Survey. The quarterly survey of finance professionals conducted by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Institute of Management Accountants, previous some years remained challenging but now outlook for Pakistan is improving.
One reason is increased Chinese investment in infrastructure projects on part of CPEC as we are expecting $62 billion, which is the equivalent of 17 percent of Pakistan’s 2015 GDP.