Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Thursday said investment climate has been improved slightly while the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will boost it for decades. The economic corridor will not only boost Pakistan’s economy but will also contribute to the improved investment climate in the country, said Patron ICST Shahid Rasheed Butt. Pakistan needs investment of 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to achieve required economic growth as the current rate of investment is keep GDP growth rate under stress, he added.
He said that the last year’s investment target was 17.7 percent while it remained 15.8 percent, slightly improved than the corresponding year. The target for fixed investment was 16.1 percent which could not be achieved however it remained 14.2 percent with 0.2 percent of improvement, he added. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that the private investment dropped from 10.2 percent to 9.9 percent against the target of 12.2 percent. He said that apart from investment the situation of national savings is also not good. The target for national savings was 16.3 percent but it was recorded at 13.1 percent because banks are more concerned about profits and they are giving negative return to account holders.
The business leader said that government failed to honor its commitment to privatize Pakistan Steel Mills, PIA and power companies due to political concerns otherwise the investment would have been improved. He said that as soon as the power crisis is resolved and political instability is subsided, the local and private investment may record some improvement.