According to the Federal Secretary Board of Investment, Asad Rehman Gillani, it seems as though Pakistan may be able to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) from two major sources; Japan and Saudi Arabia. Delegations are expected to arrive and depart in the next few days with the objective of discussing potential deals and business opportunities in Pakistan. Given how unstable our economy is, the losses suffered and the ambitious promises made to the IMF, this is a welcomed development on which the government must maintain progress in order to remain afloat.
Currently, a 250-member delegation of Japanese business men is expected to arrive in Pakistan in the last week of September. The objective of this visit is to investigate the potential that our industries hold and how to harness it effectively. The Japanese economy is a global powerhouse and if investors choose to take an interest in our economy, it can only mean that we will have a lot to look forward to. In fact, Saudi Arabia has also expressed a keen interest in investing in Pakistani business and a delegation is set to make a visit in the coming weeks to discuss what options there may be.
Sectors of our industries like construction, housing, tourism, food processing, logistics, textiles, automobiles and energy are expected to perform brilliantly, provided they get the resources needed for further development. This is something that the government must consider and work towards. Already, their dedication to the cause of ushering in an economic uplift is exemplified by the directives to establish tax-free Special Economic Zones (SEZs) through which FDI can be funneled into the country and utilised effectively. Our job remains to ensure that these SEZs are structured well, have informed policies and secures national interests as well. Often, FDI comes with strings attached and while we should be happy to comply, we should accept proposals that enable large-scale development.