PM approves new model bilateral investment treaty


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the new model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) whereby any dispute will now be resolved through local arbitration, Board of Investment (BoI) secretary Fareena Mazhar revealed. in an interview with a group of journalists on Sunday.

She said the new model of BIT was developed in consultation with all stakeholders and with the active assistance of the Law and Justice Division and the Attorney General of Pakistan.

She explained that all new bilateral investment treaties would be negotiated according to the new model in order to minimize the risk of international arbitration and to provide political space for the government to implement economic policies of public interest.

The Board of Investment (BoI) is actively pursuing strategies to create opportunities for $ 50 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country by 2023 as part of its new investment plan, has t she said, adding that the government had had difficulty finalizing investment treaties with some countries due to the Reko Diq affair.

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“The main priority of BOI is to attract investment in various sectors of the major economies of the world, including the United States and China, and also to encourage Pakistanis overseas to invest in the country so that ‘they can take advantage of these great investment opportunities,’ she added. .

The secretary said investment opportunities would be created in different sectors of the economy, including textiles, personal protective equipment (PPE), agriculture, agro-industry, automotive sector, logistics and the sport.

She said Chinese companies have provided $ 260 million in investment in Rashakai, the steel industry’s special economic zone (SEZ) to improve productivity and growth in the local industrial sector.

Chinese and local enterprises are ready to form joint ventures, and 60 local Chinese enterprises from different sectors are registered and ready to sign the joint venture agreement.

She informed that to realize the program to attract more Chinese investment to Pakistan, BOI has appointed eight honorary investment advisers in different potential regions of China.

“We appointed these people from the business class and other related experiences and fields will play a vital role in updating the Chinese business brotherhood on potential joint ventures (JVs), other investment opportunities and rewarding incentives offered to foreign investors in Pakistan, ”Fareena said. .

She said the appointments of these people are part of the government’s strategy to boost Pakistani and Chinese investments for the country’s economic growth.

She said that Rashakai, the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) would set a new direction for modern industrialization in Pakistan and bring huge foreign direct investment (FDI) to the country.

“Through this important step in the economic history of the country, the government wishes to provide a business environment conducive to the inflow of FDI into the country,” she said.

Fareena said that four SEZs including Rashakai Nowshera, Dhaba, Bostan and Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad had also been approved and would be the government’s top priority to develop these areas to create better business opportunities for foreign investment.

The secretary said that the development of the Rashakai SEZ has enormous strategic implications, as it is closer to the resource-rich Central Asian Republics (CAR) and also plays a role for the economic integration of the region.

All of these SEZs would have a far-reaching socio-economic impact in the region by attracting more investment, stimulating industrialization, creating jobs in industry and ensuring export-led growth, he said. she declared.

She said that the completion of the Rashakai SEZ would promote the ease of doing business in the country and make it easier for local and foreign investors.

Fareena said Pakistan’s proximity to China would allow these SEZs to foster economic interdependence for mutual economic benefit to improve bilateral trade and economic connectivity in the years to come.

She said that the BOI has promoted the creation of all these SEZs with the aim of capitalizing on investments under the CPEC, inclusive economic development in the provinces, job creation, industrial development and generation of workers. exports to Pakistan.

Responding to another question, she said that the Rashakai SEZ has a unique competitive advantage due to its proximity to the first junction point of the CPEC road and a significant resource and manufacturing base in the region.

She said Pakistan acquired the $ 3 billion in FDI in FY21 and the government is committed to attracting more foreign investment into the potential sector in FY22.

The secretary said the government has set itself the goal of completing the reforms of the BOI, through the Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative (PRMI) at the provincial and national levels.

She said the reform process will be completed in three levels, including mapping, analysis and guillotine to execute the regulation from the gross road level to the country level.

Responding to a question about the BoI’s new investment promotion strategy for 2021-2023, she said the FDI target was 3.7 billion rupees by 2021-2022 and $ 4 billion. for 2022-2023.

She said that according to the new policy strategy, BOI also aspires to generate a number of new leads followed in the new Board of Directors Investment Relationship Management System (IRMS) to improve FDI in coming years. She said the investment strategy also includes priority sectors which have been selected through a structured sector analysis process.

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