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Executive Committee Members of The American Business Council held a high-profile meeting with Chairman BOI Mr. Atif Bokhari on 31st May 2021 to present a ten-point agenda underscoring Pakistan’s competitive & comparative advantage while creating ease of business for foreign investors.

1- Create a ‘single window’ facility for all US businesses and formulate a committee that represents the interests of foreign companies to support their issues, explore opportunities and overcome challenges.

2- Dedicate a representative of BOI to build a better coordination between American businesses to facilitate a more collaborative approach and handling of matters.

3- Build a stronger communication / relationship with foreign offices by placing a representative in North America to facilitate B2B activities and by leading delegations to other business chambers to attract investment into Pakistan.

4- Facilitate companies in setting up entities or acquisitions outside Pakistan as well as attract foreign companies to set up offices in Pakistan.

5- Allow investment registration through BOI or portal electronically and not through banks.

6- Arrange easier process for multiple / business Visas for US citizens eager to explore investment in Pakistan.

7- Remove the requirements of no objection certificate for American citizens of Pakistan origin to invest, set up and operate business in Pakistan.

8- Change the Pakistan resident status from 3 months to 6 months (preferably 9 months) to encourage diaspora to invest in Pakistan.

9- To develop tourism and encourage large resort operators to invest, the Government must redress civil aviation rules to allow foreign registered aircraft to operate in Pakistan and set up green fields/ private landing strips to facilitate concessional finance.

10- Create a tangible research/ branding document to highlight Pakistan’s comparative advantages and hire specialized firms to develop material and engage with international audiences.

Mr. Bokhari stated that the Government is considering the creation of federally administered Special Economic Zones solely for US companies to encourage manufacturing and re-export of products. He asked ABC Members to give recommendations for these SEZs. He further sought ABC’s suggestions on how to attract US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) towards the private sector and requested The Council to nominate 3-4 private sector leaders to engage in bilateral dialogue between BOI & the US Government. Subsequently, suggestions for DFC and nominations for advisory roles were shared with the BOI.

The meeting ended on a high note and the Chairman communicated openness and willingness on his part to explore innovative ideas and measures to enhance Pakistan’s image as a land of investment & opportunities in the region.