President for institutional framework to encourage foreign investment in ICT sector
PR. No. 150/2021
Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi has called for establishing an institutional framework to facilitate and encourage Multinational companies and Pakistani diaspora to extend their business setups in Pakistan, particularly in the IT Sector. He underlined the need to improve the business environment by simplifying the procedure for registration of companies and capital movement in order to attract foreign investments to Pakistan. He made these remarks while addressing a meeting, through video link, of the Pakistani diaspora from Silicon Valley, USA, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, today.
The meeting deliberated upon the issues being faced by the foreign investors and Pakistani diaspora while setting up a business and making investments in Pakistan. The leading IT experts of the Pakistani diaspora from Silicon Valley highlighted the issues being faced by them such as the complicated procedure for registration of companies, lengthy process of opening of bank accounts and lack of one window operation which hindered foreign businesses and investors come tothe country. They suggested various measures to improve the business environment to make Pakistan an attractive destination for investments in the IT Sector.
Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) informed the meeting that the registration process for companies had been simplified that took only four hours to register a company with SECP. Secretary, BOI apprised that Commercial Courts had been set up in 23 districts of the country to resolve commercial and trade disputes. Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) informed the meeting that the State Bank was making efforts to provide an enabling environment to businesses and foreign investors. The meeting also stressed the need to amend and simplify the existing Notarization procedure to facilitate foreign investors.
Addressing the meeting, the President said that the Government was taking serious measures to provide an enabling environment to foreign businesses and investors. He added that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector was being strengthened as it had great potential to put the country on fast-track development. He emphasized the need to develop a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to cope with cyber threats by ensuring the safety of cyberspace for citizens and businesses. The President highlighted that Pakistan produced 30 thousand IT Graduates every year and only 5 thousand of them got employment while the rest were facing difficulties in getting jobs due to the lack of marketable skills. He also emphasized the need to improve the skills of IT experts/graduates by training them as per market requirements. The President assured the Pakistani diaspora of his support to help address their concerns by providing them with a business-friendly environment.
Minister for IT and Telecommunication (IT&T), Syed Amin-ul-Haque, Secretary IT&T, Mr Sohail Rajput, Secretary Finance, Mr Yusuf Khan, Secretary Commerce, Mr Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui, Secretary Board of Investment (BOI), Ms Fareena Mazhar, Additional Secretary Ministry of Interior, Mr Momin Agha, Registrar SECP, Mr Mubashar Saddozai, and member IR of Federal Board of Revenue, Mr Qaiser Iqbal, attended the meeting. Whereas, Governor SBP, Mr Reza Baqir, the Ambassador of Pakistan to the USA, Mr Asad Majeed Khan along with members of the Pakistani diaspora, including MrMoazam Chaudhary, Mr Saleem Ahmad, Mr Zia Chishti, Mr Najeeb Ghauri, Mr Naveed Shervani, Mr Aly Fahd, Mr Raghib Hussain, Mr Idris Kothari, Mr Safwan Shah, Mr Riaz Siddiqi, Mr Ahsan Sohail, Mr Waheed Qureshi, Mr Amir Khan, Mr Ahmad Ayub, Mr Mamoon Hamid and Mr Faisal Sohail participated in the meeting via video-link.