Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was boosted in FY2020 and recorded a 91% increase that ensures smooth business cooperation in Pakistan. To streamline international trade and to regulate bottlenecks, the Government of Pakistan is committed to facilitating investment under Pakistan Single Window (PSW) by 2022. PSW will be implemented for $67 million by 2022 to comply with the World Trade Organization. It will improve the ease of doing business, enhance controls through integrated risk management, and boost the FDI growth in the country. By the end of 2020, to regulate trade in the country, PSW will cover 80% of certificates, permits, licenses, and other documents. PSW allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents at a single-entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. If information is electronic, then individual data elements need to be submitted only once.
To provide legal protection and create confidence in the establishment and continuity of the liberal economic reforms Protection of Economic Reforms Act (PERA) 1992 extends to the whole country. Whereas the Foreign Private Investment Act, 1976 provides the promotion and protection of foreign private investment in Pakistan. The FDI policy of Pakistan is coupled with a relatively friendly legal environment that attracts international investors in the manufacturing and industrial sectors. The investors are free to bring, hold, and take out foreign exchange within or out of Pakistan in any form and are entitled to enjoy immunity against any enquiries. Banks are ordered to observe complete secrecy in respect of foreign currency accounts by whoever so is owned, controlled, and managed.
The biggest contributor to FDI in Pakistan is China with a net investment of $855.6 million under the framework of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In the World’s Bank Doing Business Report 2020, Pakistan was ranked 108th with the most notable economic improvements out of 190 countries. Countries like Norway, Hong Kong, Italy, Norway, and the Netherlands are interested in the energy, telecommunication, oil, gas, and financial business sectors of Pakistan. The 3G/4G service providers attracted the foreign investment worth $73.5 million in May 2020, followed by oil and gas exploration firms $18.6 million and financial businesses $15.5 million, stated by Professor Zhou Rong. The returns of stability to the financial health of global firms is a must to attract new foreign investment in Pakistan, he added.