Naguib Sawiris, Egyptian billionaire and Chairman of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding, has extended words of advise to Pakistan’s policymakers and businessmen. His company, Ora Developers, has partnered with Pakistani conglomerate, Saif Group, to launch a $2-billion project.
In an interview to Express Tribune, Sawiris called for simpler process in buying of land, besides addressing a large number of issues related to policymaking and general business environment.
“Ideally, you would want a simpler process in which you buy land (from the government or someone else) at a rate that is determined officially so there is no haggling. Then, a private developer should start construction work and assume the cost through till the end. This way, prices will remain competitive and affordable,” he said.
Laws favoring investment
Sawiris said Pakistan needs to become flexible and adopt laws that favor investment. “There are no financial programs available to finance housing. The central bank in Pakistan does not allow loans against properties that are unfinished. How will the middle class afford houses?”
Speaking on Pakistan’s economy, Sawiris said that businesses like stability, including stability in currency, policies and governments and that regular change in any of these things isn’t a good thing. “When you have policymakers who don’t understand business you have laws that scare away investors,” he said.
Sawiris also had a simple advice for entrepreneurs. “Never take no for an answer. Always trust yourself and be persistent. Don’t give up. Also, listen to people with experience. Lastly, since I am a religious man, belief in God is crucial.”
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