The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) in Pakistan has announced a new visa policy aimed at attracting investments from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and other nations. The council, which includes the army chief, spent two days discussing the policy. The SIFC was established to bring in foreign investments from the Gulf and other friendly countries. However, there has been a lack of commitments from Western countries, unlike the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has received significant funds from China. The SIFC allows China to invest in areas outside of the CPEC’s focus on roads, infrastructure, and energy projects. The SIFC has made advanced agreements with GCC countries, with the signing expected by the end of the year. Currently, only Indonesia has shown interest in investing under the SIFC, while non-GCC and Western countries have yet to make firm commitments. The new visa regime will grant visas to business people with letters from host countries or global business organizations. Pakistani chambers and entrepreneurs can also issue invitations for visa issuance. The SIFC aims to improve Pakistan’s business and investment climate by collaborating with various ministries. Additionally, there will be a crackdown on smuggling and efforts to solve international investors’ issues. A special cell will be established to address the illegal land grabbing of overseas Pakistanis’ properties. IT programs will be launched to assist freelancers and IT companies. The caretaker government aims to uphold the IMF agreement and maintain its policies until the appointment of a successor to President Arif Alvi.
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