Being a democratic state and given the state of the economic crisis the country is in; Pakistan direly needs a renaissance for its economy. “Democracy fosters economic growth”, says MIT Economist Daron Acemoglu, the co-author of the study conducted to monitor the rate of economic growth in democratic states. Finding a connection between democracy and economic stability, the study suggests that democracies employ broad-based investment, especially in health and human capital, which is lacking in authoritarian states. 

SIFC, Special Investment Facilitation Council, an initiative by Pakistan’s military and government is a wakeup call to the economic evolution we all are seeking.

And the good news is that this project is proving to be a game changer in unlocking country’s financial potential. The military leadership is working with the civilian administration to provide support and advice and leadership in the performance of their responsibilities. 

Both Military and Government ensure unwavering resolve to support the initiatives aimed at economic recovery of the country. Working under the leadership of Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan and General Syed Asim Munir, Chief of the Army Staff, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the council structure comprises representatives from relevant government departments, regulatory bodies, and industry stakeholders.

SICP was established on June 20, 2023, and since its inception, it has moved quickly to accomplish its goals. The Special Investment Facilitation Council’s first 100 days came to an end in September 2023 and till date it has conducted multiple meetings on different agendas so far, making important decisions and putting them into action all at once.

It is aimed at facilitating and expediting investments in the country serving as a platform to facilitate and attract foreign investments, resolving issues faced by investors, promoting transparency and accountability in investment-related procedures.

Working and collaborating with various sectors of the economy mainly agriculture, minerals and mining, information technology (IT), energy, and defense production, SIFC has worked as a bridge to identify investment opportunities, address challenges, and promote a conducive environment for investment and economic development in Pakistan. The vision of this council is to contribute towards an economic revival of the country. Working as a ‘Single Window’ for all domestic and foreign investors, it minimizes the complex and delays involved in business processes.

In order to draw multibillion-dollar investments in form of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), SIFC has so far selected and allocated resources for at least twenty projects. Pakistan’s potential in many industries, resources, and portfolios is being explored through the platform. In-depth research is underway to determine whether mining rare earth minerals in the nation’s northwest and north is feasible.

Notable advancements have been made in a number of areas, such as the long-overdue Reko Diq project, improving the efficiency of Distribution Companies (DISCOs), and privatizing Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). 

Many national and international contracts with oil refinery companies, energy sectors, coal and mining companies, hydropower projects, cloud-based infrastructures, solar project installation, and advanced telecom facilities are among the projects that have been identified for the acceleration of the process. 

Operating since more than a year now, the Council is gaining attention from both local and global investors. The signing of several agreements with local and international investors worth hundreds of millions of dollars demonstrates a renewed trust in Pakistan’s ability to deliver and increase national and international investment possibilities. 

SIFC has quickly established itself as an advocate for Pakistan’s security, stability, and growth in the international world. It demonstrates the civil-military establishment’s serious attempts to work together. 

The most recent achievement of the council was made few days back when Prince Mohammed bin Salman to bring 25 billion dollars to Pakistan through Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

SIFC is actively working to unleash Pakistan’s tremendous mineral potential. It is accelerating the development of a federal Mines and Minerals Division in order to revitalize the mining industry by harmonizing rules and regulations across the country. In a recent breakthrough, the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation signed an agreement with an American corporation to export pink salt, a significant step forward in utilizing Pakistan’s abundant mineral resources for international trade and commerce. 

SIFC has achieved thirteen of fifteen milestones set during the last eight months including boosting the information technology sector and increasing exports. 

The Special Investment Facilitation Council is doing wonders, perfectly capable of accomplishing its goals at a rapid speed. The goal is to believe in the process and provide constant support for the organization by creating a pro-business environment free of corruption.

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