Vision 2030 adopted by the parliament lays down the national consensus on the major challenged faced by Pakistan in the years to come and outlined the approaches to meet the challenges. By 2030 Pakistan’s population will have increased to some 230 to 260 Million, 60% of whom will live in urban areas. To accommodate basic needs, alleviate poverty and generate employment for this growing population, GDP growth will have to average some 7% - 8% per annum. In Pakistan’s resource-constraint economy, private investments in productive ventures have to be the prime engine of such growth. Meeting the challenges of the future thus depends on Pakistan’s ability to mobilize private investment, both domestic and foreign.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will have to play a crucial role in energizing Pakistan’s economy. Its contribution will not be limited to providing much needed capital; more important are the non-financial contributions that come along with FDI, notably:
• Transfer of state-of-the-art technology;
• Integration of domestic production into world-wide production and marketing chains;
• Linkages with domestic businesses (up and down stream effects).
The emphasis on foreign investment is not meant to advocate any privileges of foreign investors over domestic. Domestic and foreign investors operate and compete in the same economy. International experience show that economic growth is best furthered by creating a business-friendly legal, institutional and administrative enabling framework for all investments, domestic and foreign alike. Such a framework should provide a ‘level playing field’ for entrepreneurial activities where all investments, regardless of origin, are driven by market forces to their most effective use (optimizing resource allocation efficiency).
The FDI strategy is meant to offer a conceptual framework for the cooperation of all stakeholders in energizing private investment in Pakistan.