Pakistan: daring and dynamic reform programmes

Pakistan: daring and dynamic reform programmes

Last week we had the honour and pleasure to update you on the inaugural visit of H.E. Ambassador Dr. Faisal to Munich. We had a very interesting week following the visit as new projects begin to develop and already started projects were accelerated. 

 
On special wishes of some readers and participants of the Exportclub Bayern dinner: The Speech of H.E. Ambassador Dr. Faisal at the Exportclub Bayern on July 27th, 2020. 

Please enjoy the very insightful read from a true Pakistan expert.
Stay healthy and safe!

Your GATE to Pakistan Team

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Faisal with the Presidency of Export Club Bayern and Honorary Consul Dr. Pantelis Christian Poetis at Münchner Yacht Club

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
It gives me great pleasure to be in your beautiful city and in the company of such dynamic and accomplished members of the business community of München.
 
We are living in unprecedented times. The challenges confronted by humanity, in the face of COVID-19, have impacted all aspects of our existence. Unity and determination in the face of this challenge are paramount.
 
The world needs to come together to support each other to recover and rise from the shock this pandemic has generated, specifically the economic and financial one, that threatens the existence/ survival of households across the globe.
 
In my country, Government’s daring and dynamic reform programmes had started to yield results, with the economy picking up and foreign investments coming in – there has been an adverse effect of COVID-19 shutdowns. To minimize the losses, Government’s introduction of the “smart lockdown” has helped in reducing the spread of the virus and provided support to the business community. But a lot still needs to be done. 
 
Life cannot return to normal till our economies begin to recover to help affected households and people. This is the time to unite and find synergies in working together through cost effective investments. This is where my country- with readily available skilled labour and cheap raw materials comes in - to provide mutually beneficial opportunities to businesses like you to invest in the fields of manufacturing, energy, textiles, sport goods, automotive industry, Information technology, etc.
 
Investment liberalization has been the strongest driver of global growth for decades, giving a significant boost to economies in developed and developing countries. Around the world, countries are adopting liberalized policies to attract FDI. This is even more important in the post COVID-19 world. Self-reliance, investment liberalization and promotion are the way forward to regain the losses brought about by COVID-19. 
 
I would like to introduce you to the investor friendly Investment policies of the Government of Pakistan.
 
The Government has introduced the “Investment policy 2020 (IP-2020)”- which is an evolutionary enhancement and continuity of the earlier Policies and consolidates fresh initiatives promulgated by the line ministries, introducing strategic measures for its implementation. 
 
IP 2020 takes into account, global investment and regional trends and experiences, and the present day economic challenges. The Policy focuses more on ease of doing business, using Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as a tool for structural transformation, elimination of redundant regulations and improving the existing ones, improvement of soft and hard infrastructure and enhancing the competitiveness of firms, so as to achieve economic sovereignty.
 
The goal of Investment Policy 2020 is to address and adjust economic priorities in the face of changing global and regional economic scenarios, so as to address the economic imbalances and to achieve the targets given in the 12th five-year plan and other goals such as sustainable and inclusive economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure development, as committed by Pakistan under sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2030 agenda of Sustainable Development of the United Nations with special focus on bridging the gender opportunity gap. 
 
After the completion of early harvest phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), wherein majority of infrastructure projects have been completed and Gwadar Port is operational, there is a huge potential for foreign investors to set up and expand their businesses in Pakistan. IP 2020 aims to transform the business environment in the country by providing efficient, convenient, transparent and integrated services to investors for promoting investment in labour intensive, import substituting, and export led industries to achieve sustained current account surpluses for requisite investments in education and health of the people of Pakistan.
 
The policy will be instrumental to achieve progressive increase in net FDI inflows and to enhance the Investment to GDP ratio from existing level of 15.4% of GDP to 20% of GDP in the next four years. 
 
Policies to Promote Investment:
 
In Pakistan, there is a shortfall of over 10 million houses. Government intends to promote access to low cost affordable housing to the people of Pakistan and jump start the housing sector. Naya Pakistan Housing Authority (NPHA) has been created for the purpose of planning, development, construction and management of large-scale housing projects. NPHA aims to facilitate all local and foreign builders/investors involved in the construction industry by acting as a 'One Stop Shop' to remove impediments, strategize and to execute a wide-ranging plan to attain the set objectives. Measures are being taken to promote and facilitate housing finance.The Government plans to construct 5 million houses through all the three modes; private sector, public sector and on public-private partnership basis. Several incentives are also being offered to attract private sector investments in this sector. 
 
Restrictions on foreign real estate developers have been removed to provide them a level playing field with domestic developers. FDI in Real Estate sector and profit repatriation therein, is allowed, subject to the Rules/Regulations and procedural requirements set under the Foreign Exchange Manual of the State Bank of Pakistan. 
 
Of the existing Power Generation Capacity, the Govt. has set itself a target of achieving at least 20% on-grid Renewable Energy generation capacity by the year 2025 and at least 30% by 2030. A comprehensive Alternate and Renewable Energy (ARE) Policy, 2019 has been developed to achieve the stated targets. New capacity additions will be made and the retiring plant shall be replaced with Alternate & Renewable Energy Plants (AREPs). Procurement of AREPs will be through auctions, preferably on annual basis. Plant and machinery imported by existing or new industrial concerns shall be free of import duties for manufacture of AREP or components. 
 
Pakistan's automobile industry is one of the fastest growing in world. The production and sales have both grown by 171% and 172.5% respectively between 2014-2018, which has been fuelled by the Automotive Development Policy 2016-21.The Policy offers tax and import duty incentive to new automakers including one time duty-free import of plant and machinery for setting up of a unit for manufacture or assembly of vehicles, concessional duties on import of localized and non-localized/completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts and import of Completely Built-up (CBU) at concessional duties, for test marketing. 
 
To mitigate climate change and reduce oil import bill, a comprehensive Electric Vehicles (EV) Policy has been introduced. A package of incentives for EV manufacturing units, EV components and module manufacturing, charging infrastructure and battery swapping stations; and incentives for different categories of vehicles like cars, two and three wheelers, buses and trucks has been introduced. The Policy will ensure an era of clean air in the country for the future generations. (looking for a partner for getting electric cars for Pakistan, alongwith charging stations and some transfer of technology).
 
In 2018, the British Backpackers Society ranked Pakistan as the World's top adventure travel destination, describing the country as "one of the friendliest countries on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone's wildest imagination." Forbes ranked Pakistan as one of the 'coolest places' to visit in 2019. The World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report placed Pakistan in the top 25% of global destinations for its World Heritage sites. 
 
Despite the huge potential in all types of tourism including adventure, cultural, eco, and religious tourism, the influx of tourist is still not comparable to similar sites elsewhere. To tap the potential all the provinces have developed frameworks and incentives for the development of tourist assets like accommodations, food and beverage, recreation and entertainment, transportation, and travel services. Govt also aims to develop integrated Tourism Development Zones for the promotion of Tourism industry in the country. These Zones would not only serve to showcase tourism potential of the country but would also ensure the preservation of natural beauty, biodiversity, forests cover and promotion of eco-tourism at the newly established tourist resorts. 
 
Pakistan's IT sector is carving a differentiated position as the preferred source for software development, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and freelancing. Pakistan was ranked at number four for freelance development in the world and IT exports have increased by 70% during the last three years. Pakistan has more than 2000 IT companies and more than 300,000 English-speaking IT professionals with expertise in current and emerging information Technology (IT) products and technologies. The government of Pakistan continues to facilitate the IT industry through numerous sustainable development and accelerated digitization project. Incentives to bolster growth include 100% equity ownership, 100% repatriation of capital/dividends, tax exemption on IT & IT enabled services export revenues, tax exemptions for startups and subsidized Software Technology Parks. Govt is also working on the development of Ecosystem and round the clock E-payment Gateway facility for the importers/exporters to pay customs duties, taxes and other dues online through internet banking and automated teller machines, for clearance of consignments. 
 
Government has also announced a number of Investment Incentives. Industrial units bringing in technology for the first time, that is not available in Pakistan shall be declared a Pioneer industry.  Special incentives at par with special Economic Zones shall be allowed to such industry.
 
Investment in research and education and human resource development are being encouraged. Linkages between foreign investors and universities and research institutes are being supported to design the training programs to introduce innovation and upgrade the skills of staff according to their needs. Investment through the development of Technological SEZs are also being encouraged through provision of incentives. 
 
There shall be 10 year Income Tax holiday and Customs duty exemption on the import of plants and machinery for installation in industries set up in the approved Special Economic Zones. 
 
A comprehensive incentive package for new export led industries parked in the Special Economic Zones along the same lines as export oriented units is being developed under the SEZ Act. The SEZ Act, 2012 shall not be amended to the disadvantage of SEZ enterprises or developers. 
 
Government would continue supporting clean and sustainable economic growth through investment policy interventions. 
 
One of the main considerations for foreign investors is governments' ability to provide statutory protection to their investments. Investors avoid entering in market if risk is difficult to ascertain and mitigate.  My Government is fully committed to assurance of basic rights of due process, enforcement of law and contract, and provision of security. To achieve certainty and clarity to investors, relevant laws on investment are being consolidated to modernize the legal regime. An investor’s grievance mechanism is being developed to prevent legal disputes at an early stage. 
 
I look forward to seeing most of you, if not all, in Pakistan, creating a synergistic relationship for the benefit of both Pakistan and Germany.  
 
I thank you all.

 H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Faisal giving his speech to the audience of the Exportclub Bayern, July 27th, 2020
 

One hundred guest were present to listen to H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Faisal 

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Faisal with Pericles Poetis, Life Fund Equity invest, Honorary Consul Dr. Pantelis Christian Poetis, Patricia Poetis, Life Fund Equity Invest, Philomena Poetis, It's A Deal GmbH, Ulrich Konstantin Rieger, Senior Ministerial Council, Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy and Penelope Poetis, POWERGROUP at the Exportclub Bayern Event 
(from left to right)

Inaugural Visit of H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Faisal to Munich
H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Faisal,  Minister of State Hubert Aiwanger and Honorary Consul Dr. Pantelis Christian Poetis at the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy
© StMWi/E. Neureuther

An exiting week lies behind us as the newly appointed ambassador to Berlin H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Faisal has completed his inaugural visit to Munich from July 27th to July 28th. 

We had the chance to meet high ranking economic decision makers as well as the honour to openly discuss the issues relating to Pakistan with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State Hubert Aiwanger. 

Minister Hubert Aiwanger received His Excellency on July 27th at the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy to discuss opportunities to deepen and strengthen the Pakistani-Bavarian business relationships. 

The Minister was pleased to announce that every Bavarian entrepreneur, who is in a close relationship with Pakistani partners, reported to him in the most positive way, that Pakistani partners are especially reliable and trustworthy. Therefore the Ministry will wholeheartedly support all actions to deepen Bavarian and Pakistani relationships and is looking into possible proposals for investments in the Pakistani market in support of these objectives. As a special incentive Pakistan and Bavaria will try to initiate an exchange program for dual training and studies.

H.E. offered that Pakistan would be happy to receive business delegations and suggested a visit to Punjab, to establish further business bonds between Bavaria, as strong economic hub for Germany, and Punjab as strong economic hub for Pakistan. Minister Aiwanger agreed fully and mentioned again the very successful business delegations to Pakistan in 2018 and 2019. According to the Minister, Bavaria is convinced that Pakistan is a fast growing market with a young and uprising population and an increasingly affluent middle class, which could develop into a large export market for Bavaria. 

The corona crisis was of course a topic during this meeting. Minister Aiwanger was interested to hear how Pakistan is currently coping economically in fighting the pandemic and wether there was an economic depression the country had to fight simultaneously. H. E. was pleased to announce that the Smart Lockdown initiated by Prime Minister Khan was effective: the poorest had been supported monetarily, while bigger companies were able to return to a new normal. The small and medium seized businesses were struck the hardest and it will take some time to return to a new normal status for these businesses. The corona pandemic has so far led to the death of 5000 Pakistani citizens; a tragic loss for the country, but the Ambassador is convinced that Pakistan will be able to keep the casualties as low as possible with the smart lockdown system. 

Energy politics were discussed by both parties intensively as H. E. informed Minister Aiwanger that Pakistan is changing its entire grid system to depend in future almost exclusively on renewable energy. The Ambassador further pointed out that Pakistan was willing to upgrade its grid infrastructure with products made in Germany and especially Bavaria.

This will mark the launching point for investments to come within the energy sector that could be introduced and arranged by the Honorary Consulate in Munich, which is ‟working very efficiently even in Your Excellency’s absence and representing Pakistan with dignity“ as Minister Aiwanger stated during the meeting. 

Following the meeting with Minister Aiwanger, His Excellency was received by Minister of State and Head of the State Chancellery Dr. Florian Hermann at the State Chancellery in the heart of Munich. 

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Faisal,  Minister of State Hubert Aiwanger and Honorary Consul Dr. Pantelis Christian Poetis at the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy
© StMWi/E. Neureuther

Following the meeting with Minister Aiwanger, His Excellency was received by Minister of State and Head of the State Chancellery Dr. Florian Hermann at the State Chancellery in the heart of Munich. 

Minister Dr. Herrmann was pleased to hear from H.E. about the fruitful discussions with the Ministry of Economic affairs and assured his full support especially regarding the receiving of different business delegations from Pakistan.

Minister Dr. Herrmann expressed concerns regarding the situation between Pakistan and India. His Excellency assured the Minister that Prime Minister Imran Khan is doing everything in his power to normalise relations to India; a very difficult task due to the extreme right wing Indian government. 

Both parties agreed that Pakistan and Germany should strengthen their political relationships further, as H.E. pointed out that a strong Europe will be more necessary than ever to stabilise the world and that Germany is considered to be the entry point to the European Union. The Ambassador expressed his hope that the European Union will be able to develop an independent identity and be more present in the world after Corona. 

After strengthening the ties on a political level the visit went on to develop new business opportunities for Pakistan in Bavaria and vice versa. 

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Faisal with the Presidency of Export Club Bayern and Honorary Consul Dr. Pantelis Christian Poetis at Münchner Yacht Club
©MünchnerYachtClub

At the Summer Fest of the Export Club Bayern at the Münchner Yachtclub wonderfully located in Starnberg, H.E. was invited to give a Keynote Speech to one hundred guests, all decision makers of medium sized and large Bavarian companies, amongst them Siemens Financial Services, BMW, and many more, regarding investment and business opportunities in

Honorary Consul Dr. Pantelis Christian Poetis, H.R.H. Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Faisal and Dr. Michael Kerkloh.
©HonorarkonsulatPakistanMUC
Forming a united front
His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Faisal receiving a welcome gift - the Bavarian lion - by Honorary Consul Dr. Poetis during their meeting in Islamabad in February 2020

During the last week we have witnessed many positive news from Pakistan as Prime Minister Khan has kicked off the construction work of the biggest dam of Pakistan’s history “Diamer-Bhasha Dam”. The project will generate 4,500MW of hydel power and provide at least 16,000 jobs. The construction work will be complete by 2028.

Furthermore, the National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC), a public sector organization established to promote emigration of Pakistani manpower abroad and to provide competent, reliable and cost-effective human resource to International Labour Market. Lieutenant General S.M. Imran Majeed, Vice Chancellor, NUMS, stated that in addition to post selection trainings, NUMS would also be conducting the required exams which are mandatory as per requirement of a particular country or region.
 
We may also share that the new ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Berlin, His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Faisal, will visit Bavaria from 27 - 28 July 2020.
 
Together with Honorary Consul Dr. Poetis he will meet Bavarian high officials including Bavarian Vice Minister-President and Minister of State, Mr. Hubert Aiwanger, to discuss the Bavarian relationship with Pakistan. Promotion of bilateral trade and investment in numerous sectors will be discussed during the meeting. Among others they will discuss the bilateral cooperation in Energy and Healthcare They will also discuss the impact of the Coronavirus on the economies and how their governments are dealing with the current situation.
 
His Excellency Dr. Faisal will also interact with the Bavarian business community to highlight the incentives which the government of Pakistan announced to promote foreign direct investment in Pakistan.
 
His Excellency Dr. Faisal is a seasoned diplomat who joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1995 and held various diplomatic assignments in Pakistan Missions abroad like Dar-es-Salam, Brussels and Jeddah. He also served as the Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2017 to 2019. And we look forward to the projects he will enable during his tenure in Germany. 
 
We will keep you updated about the important meetings during the visit. 
 
Attached please see this week’s news article about the latest developments in different sectors.
 
Stay safe and healthy!
Your GATE to Pakistan-team

Ambassador Dr. Faisal presents diplomatic credentials to German president

Ambassador Dr. Faisal presents diplomatic credentials to German president

Pakistan's newly appointed Ambassador to Germany Dr Muhammad Faisal has officially taken over diplomatic responsibilities in Berlin by giving a letter of credence to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The prestigious ceremony was held at the official residence of German President known as Schloss Bellevue.

The envoy conveyed good wishes from Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi to the German head of state. In a brief encounter with the president, Dr Faisal discussed the importance of bilateral ties between the two countries and hoped that his tenure would be useful in putting German-Pakistan relations on solid footings.

Welcoming the envoy to Berlin, President Steinmeier assured of strong ties between Pakistan and Germany.

"GATE to Pakistan team" welcomes His Excellancy Dr. Faisal in Germany and wishing him a great success during his tenure as an Ambassador.

Visit to the location of 3rd Patty Child Clinic in Chak 16 district Mandi Bahauddin

Ahsan Mehmood Baba, President Lions Club Chillianwala, visited the site of the 3rd Patty’s Child Clinic in Chak 16 District Mandi Bahauddin together with other members of the Lions Club Chillianwala. Mr. Kafayat Ullah, CEO of the construction company briefed him about the construction plan. The construction work will start in the near future, Haji Imtiaz Ahmed, Member of National Assembly (MNA) will lay the foundation stone during the coming week and the works will be completed by December 2020. The clinic will be ready to serve the area from January 2021.

We are especially grateful to our supporters of the Lions Club International Foundation who supported the project with 61,708.00 US Dollar. We will keep you posted!

For more information about Patty's Child Clinics in Pakistan please visit our website.

Stay safe and healthy!
Your GATE to Pakistan-team

Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Bill Gates

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Phone Call with Bill Gates on COVID-19 Pandemic

 

 

Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on 28 April 2020, to discuss the latest developments surrounding the COVID-19 response.

 

Pakistan's coronavirus cases have climbed to 16,117 while the death toll from the pandemic has reached 358.

 

During the conversation, the Prime Minister expressed appreciation for the support provided by the Gates Foundation and other international partners during this unprecedented crisis and emphasized the continued urgency of the situation.

 

Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that Pakistan was making all efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic with a robust and coordinated response. He emphasized that Pakistan was facing a dual challenge of overcoming the pandemic and saving people, particularly the most vulnerable segments of the population, from hunger due to lockdown. He underlined that the government had put together a US$ 8 billion package to support the affected people and businesses. Steps taken by the government have helped in containing the spread of Coronavirus in Pakistan. The Prime Minister’s call for “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for the developing countries is in the same context.

 

Mr. Gates mentioned how COVID-19 was a threat across the world. He commended Pakistan’s efforts in protecting the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations.

 

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill Gates also discussed their shared priority of polio eradication. They discussed the important role that Pakistan’s polio staff and infrastructure are playing in the fight against COVID-19. The polio teams are supporting the training of frontline polio health workers on COVID-19, and using contact tracing, testing and communications methods to curb transmission. In the context of the Pandemic, they also discussed, that routine immunization programs for children especially polio vaccination cannot be ignored, as well as, the need for capacity enhancement of the National Institute of Health.

 

Enjoy reading the week’s articles;

 

Stay safe,

Your GATE to Pakistan-team