Pakistan’s long-term economic outlook remains positive: Dawood

APP
May 27, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said Pakistan’s long-term economic outlook remained positive with improved infrastructure, western...

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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said Pakistan’s long-term economic outlook remained positive with improved infrastructure, western China connectivity in final stages, and the development of a new deep-sea port.

The advisor said the country has successfully managed to overcome the security challenges too, which along with the reforms was being recognised around the world.

Dawood 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 were shifting from transactional relationships to mutually beneficial economic partnerships.

He said during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year (July-April), Pakistan witnessed net foreign direct investment (FDI) of $2.281 billion, as compared to $1.006 billion in the corresponding period of FY2018-19, showing an increase of 126.8 percent.

“The country is rapidly gaining investors’ attention for a variety of reasons in recent years,” the adviser said while talking to APP.

World Bank (WB) has recently highlighted that global investment was expected to be reduced by almost 40 percent both in 2020 and 2021 and the growing economies of developing countries were likely to be worst-hit in terms of low FDI due to the pandemic.

However, as per recent statistics issued by State Bank of Pakistan, the negative impact of COVID-19 on FDI into Pakistan was not significant so far, rather Pakistan attracted net FDI of $2.281 billion as compared to $1.006 billion compared to the corresponding period of FY2018-19.

The World Bank (WB) has also projected a 23 percent decline in remittances for Pakistan, totalling 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.

Prime Minister Imran Khan himself was leading the reforms to facilitate investors and to ensure ease of doing business, the adviser said, adding recently, Pakistan announced transformational visa reforms by introducing e-visa facilities to most of the countries.

Replying to a question, he said that due to COVID-19, “we are facing a truly unprecedented situation in human history, affecting millions of human lives and economic activities”.

In the last 5 years, inflow, outflow and net FDI to Pakistan has some time increased and decreased; however, there was no doubt that COVID-19 has slowed down business activities all over the world, including Pakistan.

The advisor said most of the economies were going through recession, which was evident from the fact that almost 80 countries have called on the International Monetary Fund for support.



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