By Shams Abbasi
ISLAMABAD – The government of Pakistan is offering tax holiday for foreign investments in tourism sector in a bid to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The government has planned to invite foreign investment into the country for establishing tourism zones in potential Northern Areas, Swat, Galiat and Hazara region and Gilgit Baltistan and other tourism zones, Chairman Board of Investment (BOI), Zubair Gilani told APP.
Gilani said huge foreign investment was expected in tourism sector as government was focusing on building this sector on priority basis.
He said the government intended to diversify tourism by exploiting its various sectors.
“Priority of the government is to boost tourism of diverse fields including religious and faith, adventure, medical and education tourism to promote soft image of the country at international level,” he added.
He said the government would ensure provision of all modern facilities to provide enjoyable and secure environment to tourists, adding that it would also empower local community through engaging them in business activity.
The Chairman BOI said the government would educate and train people working with potential tourist centres to make them valuable employees and also to promote the concept of shared prosperity.
He was of the view that public private partnership and role of local community was imperative to attract domestic as well as foreign tourists.
He said after foreign investment in tourism, economic activities in these areas would increase, which would create more job opportunities.
Gilani said through public private partnership, the government was looking for the privatization of some entities to provide competitiveness for enhancing the capacity to promoting local tourism.
He said for promoting tourism culture through Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the government was working on World Bank’s (WB) ‘Ease of doing Business “index, which had improved from 148 to 136 out of totals 180 countries across the globe.
He said promotion of SMEs culture in tourism would play huge role for development of all sort of tourism activities for increasing economic activities in these areas.
He said the BOI had been working on the all major indicators of the EODB for improving the country’s ranking from 136 to 115 in this year and unexpectedly below 100 in next couple of year.
Chairman BOI said that knowledge-based business and economy would be priority of the government to compete with world economies.
He informed that through knowledge-based business and exports “we can promote Pakistan’s hi-tech and innovative export items in competitive international market”.