Chinese companies are set to invest $15 billion in Pakistan’s petrochemical industry, Federal Secretary Board of Investment (BOI) Fareena Mazhar has revealed.
Speaking with the associated press of Pakistan (APP), Secretary BOI said that a large part of the anticipated Chinese investment will be focused on Gwadar, including the construction of the Gwadar-China energy pipeline.
More Chinese companies are in talks with Pakistan to explore different investment opportunities in the country’s energy, agriculture, tourism sectors.
She disclosed that BOI is working on more than 50 institutional reforms to ensure a conducive environment for both Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and foreign investors.
These reforms are a part of the larger strategy of the Federal government to increase industrialization, improve productivity, and enhance exports in order to achieve sustainable economic growth.
She added that Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative (PRMI) is a key program of the Federal Government to modernize and regularize SMEs in the countries.
PRMI also aims to simplify and automate regulatory frameworks at all three levels of government; Federal, Provincial, and District.
A vital indicator of PRMI’s success will be a considerable increase in the number of SMEs and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) without jeopardizing the effectiveness of Federal, Provincial, and District governments.
She noted that BOI launched the “7th Reform Action Plan” for Ease of Doing Business (EODB) in collaboration with the World Bank Group. The Action Plan envisions improvements in firm entry regulations, reliability of electricity, tax regulations, trade regulations, creditors’ rights, better property rights, and court efficiency.
Thanks to the measures taken by the Federal Government, Pakistan has moved up to 108th position from 147th place on the World Bank’s EODB rankings during the past three years. The massive improvement in the EODB rankings has helped to restore the soft image of Pakistan as investors from all over the world are seeking investment opportunities in the country.
She also expressed dejection over the discontinuation of the next year’s EODB report as a huge improvement in Pakistan’s position was anticipated.
The work on the EODB report was stopped after data irregularities in 2018 and 2020 editions of the report came to light after a series of internal reviews and audits launched in June last year.