Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to focus on promoting savings and investment in order to spur the economic growth of the country as these two instruments played important role in generating resources to provide funds for developmental projects and to get rid of heavy foreign borrowings.
He said many countries including China, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, India and others have accelerated growth of their economies by focusing on savings and investment, but the performance of Pakistan on this account was not up to the mark.
He said Pakistan's saving rate was many times less than that of China and India as savings rates in China was 40 percent of its GDP and in India 38 percent of its GDP while Pakistan's national saving rate was just over 11 percent of its GDP. He said due to low savings and investment, our country was heavily depending on foreign borrowings to meet the needs of its economic development that brought many problems to the business and industry as well as to the common man. He urged that government should come up with new incentives to promote national savings and investment that would enable the country to finance developmental projects with indigenous resources and reduce its reliance on foreign debt as well.
Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President and Nisar Mirza Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan has made good laws and policies for foreign investment, but lack of implementation of these laws was major problem in achieving the desired results. They said that the previous governments had provided sovereign guarantees to independent power producers, but these guarantees could not be honored and this situation was not sending good message to foreign investors. They said poor infrastructure, security challenges, political uncertainty and energy shortages were other hurdles for foreign investors and emphasized that the government should address these issues on priority basis to attract more foreign investment in the country.
They emphasized that government should take strong measures to implement the proposals given from time to time by the private sector to improve the economy and ensure timely payment of stuck up sales tax refunds that would restore the confidence of exporters and local investors and help in reviving the business and economic activities in the country.