Pakistan has announced a permanent residency scheme for foreign nationals willing to invest in the country, a development shared by Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry via Twitter on Saturday.
“In line with the New National Security Policy, by which Pakistan has declared geo-economy at the core of its national security doctrine, the government has decided to allow permanent residency scheme for foreign nationals,” the tweet read.
“The new policy allows foreigners to obtain permanent resident status instead of investing,” Fawad added.
A number of countries, including Turkey, Dominica, St. Kittis-Nevis and St. Lucia, offer residency to foreigners in exchange for investment, while countries such as Spain, Portugal and Greece offer Residency permit.
The program comes as Pakistan seeks to generate foreign exchange inflows to tackle a growing current account deficit due to a high import bill, which is creating greater demand for the dollar and putting pressure on the rupee.
Pakistan’s trade deficit widened by 106.4% in the first half (July-December) of the current fiscal year 2021-22 and reached $25.478 billion from $12.344 billion in the same period of 2020-21, revealed the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Data.
On the other hand, Pakistan is also struggling to attract foreign investment into the country. Net foreign direct investment (FDI) fell 39% in November to $136 million from $223 million in October 2021, data from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed.
Cumulatively, Pakistan recouped FDI amounting to $797.7 million between July and November FY22 compared to $710.3 million in the same period of the previous FY21 ), an increase of $87.4 million or 12% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the announcement comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday launched the national security policy.
“We have prepared a multidimensional national security policy with a consensus and the effort would be that all departments and the public should move in one direction to meet all challenges,” he said, adding that he was happy to have finally been able to convince all the provinces to offer universal health insurance to all families.