LAHORE  -  Minister for State and Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Dr Miftah Ismail on Tuesday visited the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) regional office and said that liberal and transparent trade policies are the government’s foremost priority to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). 

“To avail global market opportunities, we have to move fast as the world is moving fast. Developing Countries eg Ethiopia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bangladesh are swiftly attracting FDI due to their business-friendly policies,” he added. Dr Miftah said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a project which is opening trade opportunities for both countries. He said BoI is making efforts to withdraw at least one or two of the taxes because approximately 16 to 17 agencies were collecting different taxes. Custom Duty, Tax Refund and Tax Anomalies need to be resolved for promotion of industry and attracting foreign investment, he added. 

While talking about CPEC opportunities, Dr Miftah informed BoI has planned nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) throughout the country and there will be equal trade opportunities for Pakistan and Chinese investors.  

CPEC is a major project and economic game changer, while $34 billion have been earmarked for power plants out of $52 billion investment, he added. He said about five power plants being installed in Punjab; plants are being installed on the same terms and conditions which were allowed by Benazir Bhutto in 1994 and by Musharraf in 2002. 

FPCCI Regional Chairman Manzoorul Haq Malik said business community is still making effort for their survival within the country instead of competing with global market due to various issues related to taxation, duty rebate, energy crises, and capital issues. He suggested that exports-friendly trade policies should be adopted via abolishing advance tax on imported material by the export industries for trade promotion. Liquidity Issues needs to be fixed on priority bases, he added. 

The FPCCI chairman said industrial SoPs for starting new industries should be declared for providing guidance to private sector. He suggested opening of help desks and facilitation centers at each chamber. District wise potential report should be prepared for highlighting trade opportunities of each district, he suggested.