The other day, official of the Board of Investment invited Kuwaiti businessmen and entrepreneurs to take full advantages of liberal investment opportunities in Pakistan. The government has enacted laws to protect foreign investment and investors are allowed to repatriate their capital and profits under various schemes. There is no doubt in the notion that the present government is trying to persuade investors from all over the world to establish businesses in Pakistan. But most of the government endeavours are limited to lip-service and without providing level playing field to the local and foreign investors. After all government actions and reactions, policies and schemes, Pakistan still has very poor ranking in the ease of doing business index. Tax rates are either high or irrational and tax base is restricted. In the presence of large-scale presence of black sheep in the official cadre, every effort to contain corruption backfired. When a big chunk of the government machinery is interested in the personal affairs, the official business is sent to the abeyance. Pakistan has vast fertile agricultural lands, largest canal irrigation system in the world and strong industrial base, but it has to import even vegetables from India and China.
On another note, the Arab investors, whether Saudis, Kuwaitis or Emiratis, they all love to invest in European countries where besides business opportunities they have free access to kinds of merrymaking facilities. The Pakistani government has provided them every facility of investment, but there interest is limited to killing thousands of endangered species every year in Pakistan. The so-called Arab brethren need to be told that enough is enough and they should not be allowed to violate the laws of the land. They should not be allowed to liter our land for any reasons. As a matter of fact, Pakistan needs US and European investment who have technology and they mean business. There is no use of wasting time, energy and money on Arab investors who look down upon everything in Pakistan and have no interest in technology. If they don’t want to invest in Pakistan we also need not to ask them to do so. However, before inviting foreign investors, we have to put our house in order as a priority. Development of infrastructure is the principle requirement and this should be done at the first place. The government needs to take steps to better its ranking in the ease of doing business index and has to revise and rationalize tax rates and tax laws.