Business

Chinese companies to invest US $15b in Pakistan’s petrochemicals

Written by The Frontier Post

ISLAMABAD (APP): Federal Secretary, Board of Investment (BOI), Fareena Mazhar on Sunday said Chinese companies were ready to invest US $15 billion in Pakistan’s petrochemicals sector.

Under the said project, Chinese companies would invest in the petrochemical sector in Gwadar, including the project of energy pipeline from Gwadar to China, she told APP.

The secretary said bilateral talks were underway for investment in various projects related to Chinese investment in Pakistan.

It was hoped that in the future, Chinese companies would bring investment in Pakistan in the fields of energy, agriculture, tourism and others.

She said the government wanted to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)culture in the country for bringing foreign investment and to create employment opportunities in the country.

She said the government was introducing new SMEs policy as well as initiated the regulatory reforms for better business regulations in the country.

Replying to a question, she informed that the ‘7th Reform Action Plan’ was mainly focusing on improvements in firm entry regulations, reliability of electricity, tax regulations, trade regulations, creditors’ rights, better property rights, and court efficiency etc. and reforms in these areas play a major role in the process of economic development.

The Board of Investment (BOI) was working hard to attract foreign investment in the country and improve the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ by cost of doing business in the country, she said.

In this regard, the BOI was working on about 50 reforms to create a conducive environment for business and enhance the industrialization in the country.

The secretary said Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiatives (PRMI) was a key initiative of the government for the modernization and regulation of local business to provide a conducive business environment in the country.

Fareena said implementation of these reforms, initiated by BOI, was part of the broader strategy of the government aimed at improving productivity and enhancing exports to achieve the objective of sustainable economic growth in the country.

The secretary said main objective of PRMI reforms strategy was to improve the entry and operational environment for business, focusing on the simplification and automation of the regulatory framework at all three government levels including federal, provincial and district level.

She said the vital success indicator of the initiative would be increased in the overall private sector and foreign direct investment level without compromising the effectiveness of the various regulatory regimes.

Fareena said enabling a business environment played a pivotal role in attracting domestic and foreign investment.

She said all over the world, the emphasis was on improving the business climate.

Replying to another question, she said the World Bank’s coming, Ease of Doing Business (EODB) report 2021-22 to be issued in December this year, was expected to further improve Pakistan’s ranking below 100.

“Improving Pakistan’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Ranking’ will boost foreign investment in the country”, she said.

The secretary said higher rankings in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business (EODB) index indicated better regulations for businesses and stronger protections of their rights.

An environment where new entrants with drive and innovative ideas could get started in business, she said adding, areas where productive firms could invest, expand, and create new jobs was our prime focus.

The secretary said EoDB ranking was instrumental to improve the size of the formal sector, to curb corruption through transparency and accountability.

She said in short improvements in EoDB ranking would help reduce time, cost and processes involved in starting and operating a business.

Fareena said it was very encouraging to say that during last two years, Pakistan advanced from 39 places to 108th place on the ease of doing business global ranking.

The company’s registration has shown a 63 percent growth and 99 percent of these registrations were done online while 45 percent applicants were issued registration certificates on the same day, she said.

She said for every DB cycle, an action plan containing more than 50 reforms actions across all 10 indicators was prepared in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

In the last two years, “we have improved the World Bank’s EODB ranking by 39 points in ease of doing business, which is very beneficial for attracting foreign investment and growth of the local industrial sector”, she said.

The secretary BOI said the board was working hard on business reforms which would increase industrial competitiveness in the country and improve the climate for foreign investment in the country.

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