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SIFC Key to Boosting Pakistan’s Economic Interests Amidst Challenges

ISLAMABAD, Emphasizing the critical importance of economic security for national sovereignty, FPCCI's presidential candidate, Atif Ikram Sheikh, called for a renewed focus on economic self-sufficiency, pointing to the central role the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) could play in achieving this.

According to a news release by the Atif Ikram Sheikh, the nation is currently grappling with mounting external debt, stringent loan conditions imposed by international financial entities, and soaring inflation, compromising its sovereignty. Furthermore, despite Pakistan's inherent potential and strategic geographical advantage, foreign direct investment has remained limited, attributed to factors like political instability, security concerns, and frequent policy shifts.

Sheikh, having previously held positions including VP FPCCI, Chairman PVMA, and President ICCI, voiced concerns over persistent challenges such as hoarding, smuggling, and the influence of powerful mafias. He emphasized that swift action is essential to stave off economic default and called for immediate interventions.

Highlighting the government's economic restoration strategy unveiled in June 2023, Sheikh pointed out its focus on leveraging domestic potential and resources while inviting international investment. This approach, according to him, seeks to promote foreign direct investment in pivotal sectors such as energy, defence, agriculture, IT, and mining.

The SIFC, created to streamline the execution of this strategy, can surpass even the significance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) if its mandate is followed diligently. Aimed at rejuvenating Pakistan's economy, SIFC's approach is multi-faceted, encompassing a reduction in non-essential government expenditures, limited government luxuries, and capitalizing on local resources.

Sheikh highlighted the SIFC's role as a unified platform to foster collaboration in key areas. This includes drafting a long-term growth and investment strategy and raising awareness about the country's untapped potential. The Executive Committee of the SIFC has broadened its horizons, now delving into areas such as performance evaluations, investor-government disputes, and curbing smuggling.

Addressing Pakistan's potential as a technology hotspot, Sheikh stressed the need for improved governance, effective business regulations, and eliminating bureaucratic obstacles at both federal and provincial tiers. He ended on a note of caution, underscoring the importance of understanding the link between economic data and its implications on national stability, a connection that has been overlooked historically.

The post SIFC Key to Boosting Pakistan’s Economic Interests Amidst Challenges appeared first on Pakistan Business News.