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All Pakistan Business Forum asks govt to pursue oversees Pakistanis for investment

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by March 25, 2013 General

Lahore, March 25, 2013 (PPI-OT): The All Pakistan Business Forum has suggested the government to evolve a mechanism to become more effective in facilitating investments in the country and for this purpose oversees Pakistanis should be given maximum incentives to win their trust.

APBF chairman Syed Nabeel Hashmi, who is also former chairman of the PAAPAM, said that overseas Pakistanis are one of the biggest sources to boost economy of the country adding that Overseas Chinese and Indians have made huge investment in their respective countries. “If government serves its overseas Pakistanis and take initiatives by providing them incentives then they can play a vital role in boosting Pakistan’s economy through their remittances and investments for the socio economic prosperity of Pakistan”, he remarked.

The oversees Pakistanis can invest in agriculture, transportation, telecom and energy sectors, which have huge potential. He said that government failed to attract foreign investment, as the present process of approval of projects discourages investors.

There is need to work on a one window system where the investor can be provided all necessary information and facilities. He asked the bureaucracy to work on simplification of procedures by revisiting the existing processes without compromising on transparency so that the investors were comforted.

Overseas Pakistani businessmen have always been keen to contribute towards the development of Pakistan. APBF is providing them a strong and credible platform providing information, joint venture possibilities and interface with a host of sectoral experts. The first APBF international chapter will be inaugurated next month in the United Kingdom followed by the UAE.

He appreciated the right of vote for the overseas Pakistanis and called for their representation too in parliament, as in this way, they will turned to be the ambassadors of Pakistan. They will not only remit their income but also pursue foreign investors to make investments in Pakistan.

APBF UK Chapter President designate Mr Kamran Khan said that overseas Pakistanis bring $14 billion through bank transactions and another 28 billion through Hawala (money transferred through a network of brokers) every year, he said.

“We are better Pakistanis as compared to those persons who are living in Pakistan and instead of investing in the country, transfer money to banks in Switzerland,” he said. He further elaborated that the ministry should invite Overseas Pakistanis to come and invest in the country because public and private partnership was essential for the development of country.

He said that 48 per cent of Overseas Pakistanis are working in the Middle East, 28 per cent in Europe and 19 per cent in the United States. He said that 5 million votes of Overseas Pakistanis will play an important role in upcoming elections.

However, he said that Overseas Pakistanis were perturbed because of land grabbers, law and order situation and lack of coordination between the business community. On the other hand, courts also do not decide cases on time. Proper legislation is needed to provide protection to investments of Overseas Pakistanis,” he said.

APBF central president Rashid Mehr stated that over the last several years, the foreign exchange remittances have maintained a steady rising trend, with a recorded increase of 21.8% from $6.4 million in 2007-08 to $7.8 million during 2008-09. In 2009-10, Pakistani sent home $9.4 billion, the 11th largest in the world. By 2012, Pakistan increased its ranking to 10th in the world for remittances sent home at $13 billion per annum.

For more information, contact:
Umair Ali Khan
General Secretary
All Pakistan Business Forum
140 – Main Quaid-E-Azam Industrial Estates,
Kot Lakhpat, Lahore 54760
PAKISTAN
Phone: +92 42 35116465
Fax: +92 42 35115295
Tell: +92 307 7778234
E-mail: chairman@bfp.com.pk

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