ISLAMABAD

Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to reconsider and reorient its investment policies with particular focus for attracting foreign direct investment in export-oriented sectors that will help in enhancing value-added exports and paving way for export-led growth of the economy.

ICCI president Atif Ikram Sheikh said the foreign direct investment in Pakistan has mostly been encouraged in power, telecom, chemicals, cement, auto and pharmaceuticals sectors which were not leading exporters. He said countries like Singapore, China, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and others have promoted their exports by luring foreign investment in export-led sectors while Pakistan has lagged behind in technology advancement and value-added exports due to concentration of FDI inflow only in a few sectors of its economy.

Atif Ikram Sheikh said that instead of focusing on FDI in certain lucrative sectors, government should ensure that inward FDI should play more effective role in facilitating technology transfer to the country, access to newer and larger foreign markets, capital growth, innovation and human resource development.

He said State Bank of Pakistan’s Annual Report 2014-15 highlighted divestments and pullouts of foreign investment from various sectors of our economy including steel, cement, pharmaceutical, oil and gas in FY 2015 due to security factors as well as policy-related and regulatory constraints which was not good sign for the economy and stressed that government should look into these factors to arrest this unhealthy trend.

He said government should take all possible steps to encourage foreign investors, focus on aligning investment policies with growth objectives and diversification of FDI towards export-oriented sectors so that export-led sector could play leading role in stabilizing the economy by accelerating exports of value-added products.