DAVOS, Switzerland: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Thursday said his government had devised a comprehensive plan to create investment friendly environment and was liberalizing its policies to welcome foreign entrepreneurs.
“We offer incentives to attract new capital inflows, including tax exemptions, tariff reductions, infrastructure, and investor facilitation services,” the prime minister said.
He was talking here to a group of heads of top ranking companies at a roundtable on the sidelines of the 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum.
The chief executive officers (CEOs) present at the roundtable included Tadashi Maeda, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Managing Director, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Tokyo, Japan, Ms. Ilele Gordon, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman, Ingredion Incorporated, USA, Levent Cakiroglu, Chief Executive Officer, Koc Holding, Turkey, Sigve Brekke, President & Chief Executive Officer, Telenor Group, Norway, Ms. Wang Ling, Executive Vice President, Nestle, Ms. Petra Lox, Head Public Affairs, Novartis AG, Switzerland, Martyn Parker, Chairman, Global Partnerships, Swiss Re Management Ltd United Kingdom, Western Europe.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan offered to establish Special Economic Zones (SEZ), which provided tax holiday for investors with duty free import of plant and machinery.
The Government he said had set up Export Processing Zones where investors enjoyed special facilities and tax holidays. He said it was all protected by legislation.
“We would, therefore, like to invite you to establish your exclusive SEZ,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the law for SEZ had been made to meet global challenges of competitiveness to attract foreign direct investment.
He said it would allow creating industrial clusters with liberal incentives, infrastructure and investor facilitation services to enhance productivity and reduce cost of doing business.
The Prime Minister said the economic outlook of Pakistan had altogether changed in the last three years, which was being acknowledged globally.
He said Standard & Poor (S&P) had upgraded Pakistan’s long-term credit rating to B.
In a recent survey by American Business Council of Pakistan, 78% of US investors plan to invest in Pakistan.
He said his government had managed to stabilize the economy, with economic conditions improving.
He said the GDP growth was projected to achieve a 5.5 % growth during the current year, from just 3% in 2013.
He said the fiscal deficit had come down from 8.6% to 4.2%, Tax to GDP ratio had increased from 9.8% to 12.4 % and investment to GDP ratio from 14.9% to 15.2%.
Foreign exchange reserves had now increased to over US$ 24.5 billion.
The CEOs were appreciative of the positive economic outlook of Pakistan and shared their optimism regarding investment in Pakistan.
They said they were pleased to find Pakistan a good destination for re-export of their value added products.
They expressed optimism that Pakistan was now ready for investment due to its sound economic policies.—APP