ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said Pakistan had improved its World Bank 's ranking in ‘ease of doing businesses’ by 11 points to 136 from 147.
Addressing a press briefing flanked by World Bank Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan and Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif here, the adviser said the government was committed to take further steps for “ease of doing business’ and to reducing cost for doing business to attract the foreign investment .
He said according to the ‘Doing Business Report 2019' published by the World Bank (WB), it was the first time since the launch of report in 2002, Pakistan had improved its ranking by 11 points in a year.
The country was ranked at 70th in 2002 and at 85th in 2009, but unfortunately its ranking fell down by more than 100 points to 147 in 2017, he added.
He attributed the decline in the 'ease of doing business' environment partially to lack of interest on the part of federal government especially after the 18th Constitutional Amendment when coordination between the federation and the provinces decreased.
He said the country's ranking was now moving up gradually.The government had set the ambitious target for next year to improve the ranking to bring it under 100.
The adviser appreciated the performance of BoI team and the provincial governments efforts for improving the international ranking of the country. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Sindh Board of Investment also made their contribution, he added.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan took personal interest into improving 'ease of doing business' environment. It was included in the PTI government's first 100-day agenda, he added .
He said the issue was discussed in the meeting of Council of Common Interest for enhancing coordination among the federation and the provinces.
Razak Dawood said the countries' position in the ranking report indicated their competitiveness as well as highlighted the areas where reforms were needed to improve their business climate.
Replying to a question, he said,“We have made complete homework for the prime minister's China visit. Pakistan wants to expand the scope of CPEC for increasing cooperation in industries, market access and agriculture cooperation.”
He said access to the Chinese market was the government's priority for increasing exports.
BoI Chairman Haroon Sharif said Pakistan’s investment to GDP ratio was improving. The government would adopt the latest ways for better 'ease of doing business' environment.
The WB Country Director on the occasion congratulated Pakistan on improvement in its 'ease of doing business' ranking, which was a great achievement for the government as it would help small and medium enterprises to grow further in the country.