Pakistan is currently an attractive investment destination for foreign investors. It is home to a diverse market with a wide variety of resources and export-oriented companies. This promises foreign companies to prosper with ease, especially, in the comforts of state-of-the-art Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Moreover, would contribute more towards Pakistan’s economy by attracting more foreign investment, of which Pakistan has a dire need to reach its economic potential.
A delegation of high-level officials from Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) left for Europe, on Saturday, to promote bilateral trade and enhance close cooperation by focusing on the investment sector.
”Pakistani market is mostly unexplored and has huge potential, thus offers lucrative investment opportunities”
While talking to the press before his departure to Europe, FIEDMC Chairman, Mian Kashif Ashfaq, shared that the delegation would visit five different European countries including, Germany, Italy and UK. This visit would extend for ten days to seek investment in different projects of FIEDMC, especially in the newly inaugurated, Allama Iqbal Industrial City (AIIC) – which is a prioritized Special Economic Zone under CPEC.
The delegation would have one-on-one interaction with several foreign business leaders, researchers and investors. Mian Kashif further added, “the tour would enable investors to identify potential organizations to partner with and developing successful regional economic strategies and support regionally vital businesses”.
He was of the view that economic and trade relations between Pakistan and Europe possess great potential and there was a dire need for the Pakistani business community to focus on improving their competitiveness in the European market. “Pakistan attaches immense importance to its relations with European countries especially with UK, Italy, France, Spain and Germany”, he said. “Pakistani market is mostly unexplored and has huge potential, thus offers lucrative investment opportunities”. If this is true, an international tour would substantially increase Pakistan’s GDP.
The timely ground-breaking of AIIC, in the first week of January 2020, has seen lots of institutional pedal work. While highlighting the FIEDMC development projects and potential on a previous occasion, Mian Kashif explained that a sum of Rs. 357 billion (foreign and local investment) is expected to flow into various projects, which indicates that investors already have complete confidence in the present regime.
”For the foreign company, such an investment can create an immediate surge in productivity, while our industries can learn up-to-date skills and practices valued worldwide”
In fact, around 15 to 20 Chinese companies have already capitalized in the Faisalabad Industrial City (M3) and four Chinese companies have already expressed interest in Allama Iqbal Industrial City. Moreover, a total of 12 national and international companies have completed 100% signing of MOUs with the new Industrial City (AIIC). This, FIEDMC-managed, industrial estate currently has the largest congregation of Chinese private sector investments in one place in Pakistan – which amounts to an estimated $1.3bn in potential investment from China-related companies so far.
Accordingly, the FIEDMC Chairman shared that European countries are keen to invest in various economic sectors of Pakistan in order to avail business opportunities in the country. In anticipation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, many of these European companies are interested in investing in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, defense, and digital technology sectors.
A diverse selection of international investments will not only kickstart production in said CEPC SEZs, but also accelerate further Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the country. The advantage of FDIs is that it allows the developed world to begin improving emerging market opportunities. Hence, Pakistan will be able to see improvements in wealth and increased job opportunities for locals, while the investing companies can benefit from increased profits, developing relationships and a greater level of market influence.
Moreover, through increased FDI, international trade will become easier to complete. This basically means that business with overseas stakeholders will make it possible to limit and eventually eliminate import/export tariffs, since a minimum stake in a foreign organization will improve long-term relations. This will give the local business more control over the market while maintaining price competition.
On the other hand, international investors bring more than just money to an FDI relationship. They will also bring their personal experiences and expertise within a specific industry, which will eventually leave a mark on our workmen. For the foreign company, such an investment can create an immediate surge in productivity, while our industries can learn up-to-date skills and practices valued worldwide.
According to Mian Kashif, projects, like FIEDMC’s industrial estates, have the potential to enhance the country’s exports by 1 to $1.5 Billion per annum in the short run with a comprehensive and effectively designed strategy specifically tailored to meet Pakistan’s exporting shortcomings.
International resources can provide capital to finance local industries and enhance existing industries, boost infrastructure and productivity, open up additional export opportunities and bring new technologies and services to the Pakistani market. Hence, the foreign investment sought by the FIEDMC European tour can turn out to be integral to improve Pakistan’s economy.