Interview with Mr Lal Dino Mari Baloch — Honorary Investment Counsellor, Board of Investment (BoI) Prime Minister’s Office Government of Pakistan-Hong Kong
Mr. Lal Dino Mari Baloch was born in Khairpur Mirs in a political/landlord family. He got involved in business rather than joining politics. Mr. Baloch has 29 years business experience in various fields. He is the Chief Executive of Bizz & Trade International Ltd (BTI) and few other companies. Under his leadership, BTI has been successfully providing consultancy services besides trading natural resources, energy products, agriculture commodities and electronic products between Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, United Kingdom and the Middle East. Mr. Baloch was recommended by the Government of Pakistan and it was sponsored by the Netherlands Government in 1991 and was the youngest representative among 116 delegates from 56 countries. Mr. Baloch has led various delegations from China mainland and Hong Kong to Pakistan especially to solve the energy crisis in Pakistan. Mr. Baloch has tremendous record to encourage overseas investment to Pakistan. Mr. Baloch is currently serving as an Honorary Investment Counsellor, Government of Pakistan in Hong Kong to encourage overseas investment into Pakistan.
PAGE: You views on the significance of the Pakistan Day?
Lal Dino Mari Baloch: Pakistan is my first and last love. Pakistan is in my soul. Pakistan is in my imagination. Pakistan is in my thoughts. I think of my dear homeland whenever I take any decision. I am nothing without Pakistan. As a businessman and as an individual, I would describe Pakistan Day as my own birth. I feel strong logic behind this due to my eternal affiliation to my motherland. This day brings a historical memories of our forefathers who sacrificed their lives to win a country for us which we see on the world’s map and feel proud in which everyone has equal rights to live in the state.
PAGE: Do you think the economy of Pakistan over the period of last 70 years has done well?
Lal Dino Mari Baloch: In past 70 years, Pakistan has faced lots of challenges in various sectors and directions including its economic growth. In 1960, Pakistan had roughly the same per capita income as China and India had. My analysis shows that even though China and India are constantly compared, until now, China has outperformed India across most wealth and health indicators. But Pakistan faced difficulties which reduced the economic growth. India’s GDP per capita in 1960 was 1.5% lower than that of Pakistan ($82.5), which had progressed economically because of greater state capacity, investments in infrastructure and heavy industry and the agricultural revolution, which started in Pakistan before it did in India.
Due to problems in Afghanistan and sanctions over Pakistan made the economy kept fluctuating. But the truth is that Pakistan has come across all challenges and now is on right track of sustainable trajectory. Here I would say that no any country can sustain while having lot of problems and pressures to boost its GDP like Pakistan did.
PAGE: Your views on the business activities in Pakistan:
Lal Dino Mari Baloch: Pakistan has made significant changes in policies to facilitate business entrepreneurs better than its neighboring countries. Since the One Belt One Road Initiative has started and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is on its way for its completion, the business activities in Pakistan have become more result-oriented and easier than the neighboring countries. The Board of Investment is providing one-window services to local and overseas investors/business entrepreneurs. Furthermore, the Ministry of Commerce is playing its dynamic role and such efforts can’t be compared with neighboring countries. In this regard, China has its highly supportive role to help Pakistan in joining hands in hands to make business operations easier and faster.
PAGE: How could we bring about economic prosperity?
Lal Dino Mari Baloch: As I said earlier that Pakistan is on the right track and nothing can stop its economic prosperity. Here is one thing very important to be considered and that is the constant implementation of rules, regulations and policies in the desired framework. Pakistan has tremendously controlled the security issues and made the outlines of transparent banking. Such efforts made the country’s economy bullish. I can’t see its bearish levels in future but still have to make some hard decisions among political setup to avoid any favoritism.
PAGE: Your views on the image of Pakistan in the world:
Lal Dino Mari Baloch: For decades, the West and its allies kept Pakistan under pressure to do more. It has been proven that being a nation, Pakistan has achieved success in all issues and problems. The world has started to recognize the achievements, which Pakistan has done on its own. Various countries have offered their visa policies on Pakistan passport and sooner or later Pakistan is going to be the hub for business activities and investments for the world class companies.