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Adviser dispels impression of change in policy on foreign ownership

KARACHI: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood has dispelled the impression that the government has changed its policy on foreign ownership, a statement said on Wednesday.




In a meeting with members of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), he said the government will provide incentives to multinational companies for setting up joint ventures with local partners.

The adviser also emphasised on the need for large foreign investment in the manufacturing sector to promote value-added exports and imports substitution.

Dawood assured level-playing field to the existing investors, as well as new local and foreign investors.

The OICCI members’ highlighted issues, including concerns on the effective protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for trademarks, patents’ and copyrights and to make the Intellectual Property Organization Policy Board functional, as it has not met since late 2016, with the adviser.

Dawood assured the largest bloc of foreign investors in Pakistan that the government of Pakistan focuses on improving the ease of doing business and is committed to go an extra mile to facilitate investment and commerce in the country.

He referred to the recent economic reforms package announced by Minister of Finance Asad Umar in January and Board of Investment (BoI) chairman’s recent media briefing, highlighting various steps to facilitate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other businesses in the area of tax compliance, property registration and other aspects of the ease of doing business.

The adviser said the government will soon announce a new “Industrial Policy” and “National Tariff Policy”, in coordination with each specific sector.

The OICCI members show growing interest and optimism in the government’s efforts to create a more friendly business enabling environment and recommended the government should provide clarity on the special economic zones (SEZs) and revised investment policy to further accelerate foreign direct investment in the country.

Some of the OICCI members were extremely concerned on the growing abuse of Afghan Transit Trade Facility, impacting the manufacturers in Pakistan, which, the advisor said, was already in the knowledge of the government authorities and some corrective action will be taken soon.

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