Pakistan emerged on the world map as an independent sovereign state in August 1947, as a result of the division of the British Indian Empire. With a land area of 881,888 sq. km. [including Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa, Balochistan, Federal Administered Tribal Areas, Islamabad Capital Territory, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir], its population stands at nearly 177 million (2011 estimates). Historically, this is one of the most ancient lands known to man. Its cities flourished before Babylon was built; its people practiced the art of good living and citizenship before the celebrated ancient Greeks.
The region traces its history back to at least 2,500 years before Christ, when a highly developed civilization flourished in the Indus Valley. Excavations at Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Kot Diji have brought to light evidence of an advanced civilization flourishing here even in most ancient times. Around 1,500 B.C. the Aryans conquered this region and slowly pushed the Hindu inhabitants further east, towards the Ganges Valley. Later, the Persians occupied the norther regions in 5th century B.C. The Greeks came in 327 B.C., under Alexander of Macedonia, and ran through the region like a meteor.
In 712 A.D. the Arabs, led by Mohammed Bin Qasim, landed somewhere near what is now Karachi, and ruled the lower half of Pakistan for two hundred years. During this time Islam took root and influenced the life, culture and traditions of the inhabitants of the region.
Predominantly Muslims, the people of Pakistan are culturally homogeneous. Other religious groups include the Christians, Buddhist, Hindus and Parsees. All belong to a composite racial stock although the majority belongs to an Aryan extraction. While Urdu, the national language, is spoken throughout Pakistan, English is extensively used in official and commercial circles, and in the cities. The regional languages are Sindhi in Sindh, Balochi in Balochistan, Punjabi in Punjab and Pushto in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP).
In order to streamline and co-ordinate the process of investment and to create an investor friendly culture in the country, the government established the Board of Investment (BOI) as the central investment promotion and facilitation agency. The Board of Investment is chaired by the Head of the Government, and overseen by the Minister for Industries and Production. See the present Organizational Chart of BOI.
PAKISTAN'S INVESTMENT POLICY AT A GLANCE
1. Liberal Investment Policy
2. Equal treatment to local and foreign investors
3. All economic sectors open for FDI
4. 100% foreign equity allowed
5. No Government sanction required
6. Attractive incentives package
7. Remittance of Royalty, Technical & Franchise Fee; Capital, Profits, Dividends allowed
8. Foreign investment fully protected:
9. Foreign Private Investment (Promotion & Protection) Act, 1976
10. Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992
11. Foreign Currency Accounts (Protection) Ordinance, 2001
12. Bilateral Agreements:
13. Investment Protection: 43 Countries
14. Avoidance of Double Taxation: 51 Countrie