Pak-Afghan PTA to be finalized by end of January 2021: Dawood

ISLAMABAD, May 26 (APP):Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has said that during first 10 months of current fiscal year (July-April), Pakistan witnessed net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of $ 2.281 billion as compared to US$ 1.006 billion in the corresponding period of FY2018-19 (Jul-April) showing an increase of 126.8 percent.
“The country is rapidly gaining investors’ attention for a variety of reasons in recent years”, he said while talking to APP here on Tuesday.
World Bank (WB) has recently highlighted that the Global Investment is expected to be reduced by almost 40 percent both in 2020 and 2021 and the growing economies of developing countries are likely to be worst-hit in terms of low FDI by the pandemic.
However, as per recent statistics issued by State Bank of Pakistan, the negative impact of COVID 19 on FDI into Pakistan is not significant so far, rather Pakistan attracted Net FDI of US$ 2.281 billion as compared to US$ 1.006 billion compared to the correspondence period of FY 2018-19 (Jul-April).
The World Bank (WB) has also projected a 23 percent decline in remittances for Pakistan, totaling about $17 billion in 2020 compared with a total of $22.5 billion in 2019 due to the economic crisis induced by the pandemic, and lockdowns in most cities abroad.
However, despite these projections, things can be turned around with carefully crafted strategies and finding opportunities in new areas.
The advisor said that the country has successfully managed to overcome the security challenges; the infrastructure has significantly improved, connectivity with Western China is in its final stages, a new deep-sea port is being developed, reform drives are being recognized around the world; and the long-term economic outlook remains positive.
Prime Minister himself is leading the reforms to facilitate investors and to ensure Ease of Doing Business, he said.
Razak said that recently, Pakistan has announced transformational visa reforms by introducing E-Visa facilities to most of the countries.
Replying to a question , he said that with the current positive developments and government’s focus on inviting private investments in key sectors including Information Technology and Enabled Services, Food Processing, Textile and Logistics among others, many of Pakistan’s bilateral ties around the world are shifting from transactional relationships to mutually beneficial economic partnerships.
Replying to another question, he said that due to Covid-19 ,” we are facing a truly unprecedented situation in the human history affecting millions of human lives and the economic activities”
Razak said that in the last 5 years Inflow, Outflow and net FDI to Pakistan has some time increased and decreased,
He further said that COVID 19 has no doubt slowed down the business activities all over the world including Pakistan.
The advisor said most of the economies are going through recession, which is evident from the fact that almost 80 countries have called on International Monetary Fund (IMF) for support.