Govt to Launch E-Visa Facility for Limited Countries

Minister of State and Chairman Board of Investment, Haroon Sharif, said that the government is planning to launch e-VISA facility for a limited number of countries in the coming month to promote business and investment in the country.

“The government is making efforts to improve taxation system, cutting down bureaucratic hurdles in setting up businesses, evolve mechanism for early resolution of commercial and investment disputes and a country-specific one window operation for facilitating businesses and investors”, said Sharif while addressing “Doing Business in Pakistan” event organized by German Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce (AHK).

The event was attended by 35 major German companies based in UAE including Audi, Volkswagen, BMW Group, Halfen, Hugo Boss, Lufthansa, PUMA, Rohde & Schwarz, Deutsche Bank and Siemens etc.

Besides Chairman BOI, the German Ambassador to Pakistan, Martin Kobler and Pakistan’s Ambassador to UAE Moazzam Ahmed Khan were also present.

Felix Neugart, CEO of AHK gave a brief insight into the recent developments in Pakistan, especially with reference to investment and business opportunities in Pakistan being the 6th largest country in the world, having more than 50% youth bulge, abundantly blessed natural resources, sound manufacturing base, and well-developed agriculture and services sector.

Ambassador Kobler highlighted that Germany is Pakistan’s biggest trading partner in EU with trade balance in favor of Pakistan. He appreciated the steps taken by the new Government for restoring businessmen confidence in Pakistan and the improved law and order situation in the country.

He proposed the creation of Pak-German Joint Chamber of Commerce & Investment for further promotion of bilateral trade and investment.

Chairman BOI appreciated the efforts of AHK and German businessmen in promoting business and investment in Pakistan and updated the participants about various initiatives taken by the present government to improve investment and businesses.

He encouraged German companies to invest in Pakistan especially in Alternate Energy; Agro based Food Processing, Hospitality & Tourism and Emerging Technologies.

Haroon informed that there are 7 special economic zones already operational in Pakistan and 9 economic zones are in pipeline to attract investment in industrial sector.

He quoted Prime Minister’s resolve to make Pakistan an investor friendly destination where people can make money and urged German investors to take maximum advantage out of this opportunity.

Ambassador Kobler, representative of Siemens and Deutsche Bank informed the participants that the law and order situation has considerably improved and international tourists as well as businessmen have started coming to Pakistan. Chairman promised to further ease the profit repatriation process to facilitate the businesses.

  • Government should remove mobile roaming charges for the nationals of those countries that can now avail e-visa or visa on arrival and also try to get a reciprocal deal. In this way we can exponentially boost tourism and investment from those countries. European unions has a roaming free agreement with its member countries. This has resulted in higher tourism revenue and improved ease of doing business.

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