ISLAMABAD     -     Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Industries and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said Friday that improvement of country’s ranking in Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank (EODB) would pave way to create a conducive business environment to attract more foreign investment.

Addressing a news conference here, the adviser said the World Bank had improved Pakistan’s ranking in ease of doing business from previous 136 to 108 out of total 190 big and small economies of the world.

Accompanied by Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Zubair Gilani here, the commerce adviser said after this huge achievement of higher ranking, Pakistan’s economy would be more integrated to the global economy and this linkage would bring foreign investment to the country.

The World Bank (WB)  improved its "Ease of Doing Business" ranking 2020 for Pakistan by 28 points, placing the country among top ten countries that had made reforms and improved their business environment at fast pace.

He said that Pakistan had been ranked among 6th top reformers of the world and first in South Asia.

Besides Pakistan, other countries in the top ten list included Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Nigeria, India, China, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Togo.

Razak Dawood said the improvement in EODB report 2020 was an unprecedented positive jump in the country’s business environment, which he said would enhance the overall image of the country at world level and help promote investment to the country.

The adviser said that under the visionary leadership Prime Minster Imran Khan, the economic team proved its worth through the improvement in WB, EODB ranking of Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan’s DB score formerly known as distance to frontier improved from 55.31 to 61.

He said the report highlighted that the country was consistently closing the gap between its regulatory environment and global good practices.

The adviser said that Pakistan’s EODB score improved in seven indicators including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, protecting minority investors, paying taxes and trading across borders.

He said that improvement in Pakistan position in WB, EODB ranking was achieved due to the coordinated efforts of two provinces including Sindh and Punjab and all national institutions.

He said that in WB, EODB raking 2020 enclosed only two main cities of Karachi and Lahore but “We shall go to provide conducive business environment in all four province for providing equal business opportunities at all over the country,” he said.

He said Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KPK) and Balochistan were also in priority list to provide more facilities to improve business environment in these two provinces, adding that a lot of foreign investment could pour in these provinces.

Razak said the government was committed to facilitating the business in these two cities as well as rural areas.

“We are working on model to improve the business at district level,” he added.

Later, talking to reporters, Razak Dawood said that the government would continue its work on further improving the ranking. “We need to improve more for providing conducive business environment to foreign investors,” he said.

Razak Dawood said the government had set ambitious target for improving the WB and wanted                                                                                                                                         to achieve ranking up to 70th and 80th position within couple of years.

Meanwhile, addressing to the press conference Chairman BOI Zubair Gilani said economic stability and growth was top priority of the government for providing relief to the people.

He said that transfer of technology and automation was real change to transform the institutions for providing Ease of Doing Business to the foreign investors in the country.

He said that improvement in EODB ranking was encouraging as it would highlight positive image and attract foreign investment into the country. He lauded the BOI team that worked on EODB report and all those who put on their efforts at central and provincial levels.

The Chairman BOI said that second phase of relocation of Chinese industrial units to outer world would huge opportunity for Pakistan, adding the government was committed to achieve maximum industrial units for transformation in local industrial sector.