Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar unveiled a business-friendly visa regime on Saturday as part of his administration’s initiatives to bolster the national economy following a meeting of the country’s Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).
The council, which is grounded in civil-military collaboration, aims to streamline economic decision-making processes and promote foreign investment, with a special emphasis on enticing financial support from Middle Eastern countries.
A June 17 notification from the office of former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif outlined the SIFC’s mission to attract investments across sectors, including energy, information technology, minerals, defense, and agriculture.
“Today, from the platform of SIFC, very important decisions were taken regarding the new visa regime related to an open Pakistan, under which business people who are abroad, if they want to come to Pakistan, will be able to get visas easily from all [diplomatic] missions of the country on the basis of a document from their country or international business organizations,” the prime minister said in a short video statement.
“Along with this, all the entities and businesspeople associated with [local] chambers [of commerce] will also be able to issue [sponsorship] document to any person outside of Pakistan and, based on that, it will be easier to issue visas,” he continued.
Kakar said the new visa policy was not just limited to individuals but would also benefit small and big businesses.
He maintained that Pakistan was entering a new era of business and economy which would take it toward greater prosperity.
His message was followed by a news conference of key members of his interim administration in which foreign minister Jalil Abbas Jilani said the country was pursuing “proactive diplomacy” and had increased its trade with nearly all of its international partners.
He maintained the SIFC was set up to provide a “one-window operation” to all investors and was going to play a vital role in increasing the ease of doing business in the country.
“Pakistan’s diplomatic missions are trying to create greater awareness about the SIFC,” he said. “We have shared all the support material with them [to promote it].”
Jilani informed the new policy would help Pakistan issue “long-term visas” to people interested in doing business in the country.
The fifth meeting of the council’s apex committee was also attended by army chief General Asim Munir, who pledged unwavering support of his institution to the government’s efforts for the economic revival of Pakistan.
Source: Arab News