Despite global economic slump Pakistan received over $18bln FDI since year 2006

Karachi: Chairman, Board of Investment BOI Saleem Mandviwala says despite global economic slump, Pakistan received $18 billion in Foreign Direct Investment since year 2006.

Addressing American Business Council Economic Summit 2011 Saturday in Karachi, he said this signals investor confidence in this region and points to a trajectory of future investments as the global crisis abates. Two South Korean giants, Lotte and POSCO, with a combined turnover of $100 billion have entered Pakistan market after two years of efforts from BOI. POSCO entered into joint venture with Tuwairqi steel and invest $200 million to expand capacity of Tuwairqi steel.

Japan’s Yamaha plans to invest $150 million in Pakistan. Chinese Foton Group is working on a project to bring 2000 CNG Buses in various phases in Sindh province. BOI is in talks with many companies from China, Korea, Turkey, Germany, other countries to invest in Pakistan, he added. Today, 100% of textile and telecommunications sector, over 77% of commercial banking sector, and significant part of cement, sugar, automobile, fertilizer sector are in private sector. Over 50% of industrial sector was successfully privatized.

This year Pakistan improved five ranks on Global Competitiveness Index securing rank of 118 out of 142 economies. Although this rank is not laudable, “still we feel we are in right direction and must work hard to improve our standards,” he stated. In 2007, Goldman Sachs included Pakistan in ‘Next 11’ emerging economies of the world that after BRIC economies, (Brazil Russia India & China) would be big part of global GDP by 2050.

Mandviwala said BOI provides investor facilitation and reduce time to market for those who want to set up operations. It also introduced for foreign investor a “Visa Online” system that speeds up processing. It assists in automating investor facilitation services by cutting down number of days for documentation. BOI is introducing online applications for permission for branch and liaison offices. To date BOI facilitated opening of about 600 branch, liaison offices and makes it extremely easy to be granted permission to open office through simple application form.

BOI introduced SEZ Act which puts Pakistan on international footing when it comes to investment promotion. Swiss-owned Nestlé is satisfied investor in Pakistan for over 22 years having its largest milk intake plant in world in the country. Pakistan is highest producer of Toyota Corollas in Asia. At Corolla launch in March 2002, company was producing 57 vehicles daily and today produces 200 vehicles per day. ENGRO has grown phenomenally. Pakistan has one of biggest fertilizer industries in the world with about 8 million tons of installed capacity including world’s biggest urea plant. Pakistan is 3rdlargest milk producer according to IFCN and well positioned to becoming major supplier of milk to the world. Unilever recorded 88% of average returns in Pakistan.

He said Pakistani banks are amongst most profitable in the region. Standard Chartered in 2000, had only 7 branches in 3 cities in the country. Today it has over 180 branches across 41 cities. Telenor Pakistan is fastest growing mobile operator representing largest FDI from Europe, in any industry. With 108 million mobile subscribers in April 2011, Pakistan has highest mobile penetration rate in South Asia.

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