Punjab has been a hub for regional trade and commerce for over five thousand years. It has been cradle of one of the mankind's earliest civilizations. Punjab has attracted interests of foreigners from East and West, serving as a repository of grains, source of spices and trade route. The foundations of this cooperation and openness were given shape in 21st century through introduction of business friendly investment and trade policies.
Punjab has the most liberal investment policy in the South Asia region that includes:
- All sectors of the economy are open for investment, unless specifically prohibited or restricted for reasons of national security and public safety.
- Foreign equity investment is allowed up to 100% allowed.
- No permissions requirements from Government for undertaking a business.
- Arbitration Act, 2011, gives right to all investors to approach High Courts for recognition and enforcement of arbitration proceedings.
- Arbitration Agreements & Foreign Arbitral Awards Act, 2011, is also in place.
- Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992, that prohibits the government from compulsorily acquiring any foreign, industrial or commercial enterprise established or owned in any form by a foreign or Pakistani investor for private gain in accordance with law. Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Act, 1976 allows foreign investor in an industrial undertaking at any time repatriate in the currency of the country from which the investment originated (including profits & any additional amount).
- No control on repatriation of profits to the country of principal.
- The facility for obtaining foreign private loans is available to all foreign investors.
- Foreign controlled manufacturing concerns are treated at par with other local companies for obtaining financial facilities for their working capital requirements.
- All major industries can benefit from benefit from Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+) for export to European Union from Pakistan. This status is not available in other peers like India and Vietnam.
- Special Economic Zones (SEZs) offer one-window facilitation services to investors in terms of providing information/facilitating and authorizing investment. SEZs reduce the cost of doing business, enhance productivity and encourage investments.