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‘Investment policy to be made part of STPF’


KARACHI: Investment policy will be made part of the upcoming Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF), as the government is taking measures to improve investment environment in the country, a government official said on Monday.

Addressing business community at the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (Kati), Commerce Secretary Younus Dagha said that the government is introducing trade policy for the next five years (2018/13) and to make it business-friendly the ministry has started consultation with the stakeholders.
To attract local and foreign investment in the country, the investment policy will be made part of the trade policy, he added.
Infrastructure improvement will be given priority under the policy to facilitate the industrial areas, he said, adding that the government is trying to resolve the issues of the business community.
The government has given special priority to boost exports, Dagha said, adding that the issuance of sales tax refunds is being resolved. Besides, to promote local brands, the ministry is working on “Emerging Pakistan”.
To promote exports, the ministry is also monitoring last four years’ performance of commercial councilors, he said, adding that the country will witness positive results in this regard.
Pollution is one of the major problems of the country, and in this regard, five plants for environment protection are being installed in Karachi.
“These plants will cost around Rs13 billion,” he added. Dagha said that the rupee was depreciated on the demand of exporters. He also said the local currency is now stable due to tight monitoring by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Earlier, KATI president Tariq Malik said that foreign exchange reserves had declined owing to rising import bill, while exports declined due to various internal problems.
The local currency has also depreciated due to rising imports, he said, adding that trade deficit has widened to $20 billion from $24 billion.
Malik said that regional countries have witnessed growth in their exports due to competitive environment provided by their respective governments, but the cost of doing business in Pakistan is much higher.
Source: The News