HEAD of Customer Service of Ajman Free Zone proudly announced at a news briefing in Karachi on Wednesday that out of total registered companies in Ajman Free Zone, over 20% belong to Pakistanis, making Pakistan the second largest investor there. He added that Pakistani companies are taking full advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East through their presence in Ajman Free Zone, UAE.
Apart from Ajman, Pakistani entrepreneurs are running their businesses in a multitude of countries around the globe in a successful ad professional manner. This is reflective of dynamism of Pakistani businessmen and their potential to prosper in a highly competitive world. However, the fundamental question is why Pakistani investors are fleeing to greener pastures abroad? They are not only making fresh investments in different fields in various countries but some of them have also shifted their industries and businesses abroad.
This is mainly because of lack of consistency in policies, flawed infrastructure, energy crisis, political uncertainty and more importantly deteriorating security environment. Security of investment is a prerequisite for promotion of investment and that is why different hostile factors are discouraging investors not only from abroad but also from home.
While the Government and the Armed forces are taking measures to address the security issue, the authorities concerned are still wanting in respect of resolving industryrelated problems.
Despite political, economic and security problems, investors from several countries are keen to invest in Pakistan because of size of its population and consumption trends but they are shied away by bureaucratic approach, redtapism and corruption. One window operation for investment is still a lip service and prospective investors are made to run from pillar to post to get this or that NOC and approval. Similarly, Overseas Pakistanis can also invest billions back home but we have not been able to offer any worthwhile package of incentive for the purpose. We hope Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other concerned Ministers would joint their heads to address issues that discourage investment in the country.