BOI launches online portal to facilitate investors

Pakistan Regulatory Modernisation Initiative (PRMI) and Investors Relationship Management System (IRMS) was launched by BOI—in partnership with IFC and the World Bank on Monday.

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The three platforms — Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative Strategy (PRMI), Special Economic Zone Management System (SEZMIS) and Investor Relationship Management System (IRMS) — were launched by World Bank Country Director Najy Benhassine, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner and Senior Private Sector Specialist IFC Charles Schneider respectively.

This platform would give operators and enterprises interested in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Pakistan a chance to register and have their applications processed quickly through online portals.

The launch event was attended by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Government of Pakistan, Dr. Ishrat Husain, Senior Country Manager IFC, Nadeem Siddiqui, Country Director World Bank Group, Najy Benhassine, British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Christian Turner, and Federal SeBcretary BOI, Fareena Mazhar, along with government officials and private sector representatives.

PRMI will greatly contribute to sustainable regulatory reforms and integrate compliance across Federal and provincial levels through automation.  It will help simplify and harmonize regulatory regime across Pakistan,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.

IFC initiated these projects supporting Federal and Provincial BOIs in a bid to provide better services to investors, improve the country’s image, and promote Pakistan as an investment destination, IFC projects supporting Federal and provincial BOIs.

“IFC’s engagement with Board of Investment is comprehensive. We have been working with BOI to design and implement investment strategies while modernizing systems through revamped websites and digital portals,” said Nadeem A. Siddiqui, IFC Senior Country Manager for Pakistan.

IFC has also organized capacity enhancement courses for BOI and KP-BOIT staff in the past to help capture more foreign investment in Pakistan. Its two-month training course, “Investment Promotion for Direct, Measurable Impact,” launched in 2020 helped BOI staff create a more organized approach to identifying investment leads, tracking them, and guarantying effective follow-up.

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The aim of the newly launched IRMS is to help cement BOI’s client relationship management by tracking interactions and following up with existing and new investors. PRMI which is a part of the government’s Ease of Doing Business program, will help streamline and digitize applications, renewals, and payments for business registrations, licenses, permits, and no-objection certificates.

Secretary BOI, Ms. Fareena Mazhar explained the objective of the launch of PRMI strategy & the two online platforms, which aim to make the regulatory environment business friendly, provide local & foreign investors the ease of online registration for zone enterprises and a comprehensive database of existing and potential investors that will promote investment activities. She stated that gradual transition to a paperless environment will undoubtedly reduce the compliance burden for businesses and promote formal economy as well.

“Future of Pakistan anchors around its economic growth,” said Christian Turner, British High Commissioner to Pakistan. “UK with its partners is very proud to be supporting the regulatory efforts at federal & provincial level as these will lay the foundation for regulatory system of tomorrow’s Pakistan. I have firm belief that Pakistan has immense potential and having an enabling environment supported by effective regulations will increase job opportunities and FDI in the country.”