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Thursday July 18, 2024

‘Show potential to attract FDI’

By Bilal Hussain
March 18, 2022

KARACHI: Pakistan needs to showcase its potential and profitable avenues to lure foreign investment in the country, a moot told on Thursday.

“People don’t know what lies in Pakistan,” said Amir Husain Khan, director of Global Markets Equity Department, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. “Pakistan may have four seasons and immense potential for investment. Where to invest in?”

Khan said there was need for clarity about opportunities and also transparency in the investment and financing of that money in the country.

“Investors and financiers want to know whether their money is going where it is intended to,” he said, adding that was the place where most Muslim countries struggle. He was talking to a moot organised by Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture at the ICCIA headquarters in Karachi, under a theme of ‘FinTech Ecosystem and Opportunities in Financial Markets’.

Speaking on the occasion, Omer Bin Ahsan, founder and CEO of Fintech Haball said there had been immense potential in the country’s fintech space, but most of transactions happening were undocumented. Banks’ access had only been Rs6-7 trillio, while Rs17-18 trillion transactions remain undocumented, he added.

Ahsan was of the view that being hesitant to deal through banks was one of the reasons people prefer to go with undocumented transactions. He went on to say that Fintechs in the country should also come up with Sharia compliant products for people, which could help in penetration of undocumented economy, he said.

Also present at the event, chief information officer at PayFast Faisal Alam said the State Bank’s new product Raast would be enabling Fintechs further as it would help create linkages in financial layers in the country, helping increase financial inclusion.

US based Roger Dawood Bayat, entrepreneur and angel investor, also connected online during the conference, saying entrepreneurs needed to understand they would not get rich ‘overnight’. He suggested investors to have belief in what they were doing and their pitch should also be strong, he emphasised.“Just don’t jump into something you don’t believe in.” The moot was told that affordability and accessibility had also been the reason for low financial inclusion and big undocumented economy in the country.

Nasser Hyatt Maggo, former president of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI), said the government needed to restrict black economy, claiming that immovable property had been the place that generated black economy. He urged the government to reduce taxes, which could help people not to understate their property value. Maggo also lamented Pakistan’s listing on FATF grey listing and termed it a ‘politically influenced decision’.