LAHORE: The Swiss Ambassador to Pakistan, Christoph Bubb, has said that a number of Swiss business delegations are planning to visit Pakistan soon as the country offers a huge investment potential in a number of sectors of the economy.
The Ambassador was speaking at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday. LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari, Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah, Executive Committee Members Mian Zahid Javaid Ahmad, Talha Tayyab Butt, Zafar Mehmood, Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Haroon Arrora, Jabbar Khalid and Haji Muhammad Akram also spoke on the occasion.
“Switzerland has been among the top five direct investors in Pakistan for many years while this year it has become the top investor. Presently, more than 20 Swiss-based companies are successfully operating in Pakistan in areas of food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, banking and quality testing.
Swiss companies have come to this country with a long term perspective. Pakistan is a market with a potential of 180 million people. As the economy of Pakistan is transforming from an agro-oriented economy to a more industrialized and service-oriented economy, these companies believe in a prosperous future for Pakistan and a promising market for their unique and quality products. Furthermore, investor-friendly policies in the country have helped in paving the way for their establishment and further expansion.”
“Pakistan is a country with good educational institutions capable of training competent and successful experts and scholars in every field, who can contribute significantly to its development and prosperity. Pakistan possesses important natural resources like precious metals, minerals, water, and can count on climatic conditions that open opportunities in the green energy sector. But this potential can only be realized in a positive investment climate. Substantial improvements have to be achieved in key areas such as security, good governance and energy supply.”
Pakistan has a lot of potential for foreign investors, but the need of the hour is that issues hampering new investments are resolved.
The Ambassador said that July 2013-14 investment data put Switzerland on the top as far as direct investment was concerned. It was second largest investor only a year’s back but it reached the top this year.
The Ambassador expressed the hope that Swiss investment would see a boost in coming months due to liberal investment policies.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Engineer Sohail Lashari that major bottleneck in promotion of trade and economic activities between the two countries is the lack of information about business opportunities available in the two countries. We need to undertake frequent activities like exchange of business delegations, organizing country exhibitions, participation in fairs & exhibitions, seminars and workshops etc. to ensure a continuous liaison. The interaction between the Chambers of the two countries can be highly beneficial.
He said the country is gateway to the Central Asian Republics, South Asia and Gulf countries. The market of these countries including Afghanistan can be effectively and conveniently serviced from Pakistan.
He said that Swiss economy is one of the most developed economies of the world. It has highly advanced industries such as machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles and precision instruments. He invited Swiss Businessmen to invest in Pakistan on 100% equity basis or in the form of joint ventures with local industries. Such experiences have been very successful in Pakistan. Bayer, Abbot, Searle, Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Massey Ferguson, Fiat, Nestle etc. are all success stories.
He said that present government has adopted a liberal investment policy and there is no restriction on sending back the principal, dividends, profits and royalties. He urged the Swiss businessmen to come forward and seize upon the unprecedented investment opportunities in Pakistan.