Foreign investors and members of Overseas Investors Chambers of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) have indicated positive investment plans of approximately $3 billion in the next two to five years despite issues of security, access to energy and governance.
This is amongst the key findings of the 2011 Perception and Investment Survey launched by the OICCI, said a press release. The positive business plans revealed an expectation of some economic stability and a modest improvement in Pakistan’s economic growth parameters.
Total investments indicated by the respondents amount to approximately $3 billion over the next 2-5 years, which, though an improvement over the past, is well below the potential and opportunities in the country.
OICCI President Humayun Bashir said that foreign investors operating in Pakistan were concerned with law and order situation, which was ranked as the biggest challenge facing the business community, closely followed by the energy crisis, political instability and high inflation.
He said a sizeable percentage of respondents perceive Pakistan to be better or the same for ease of doing business compared to eight other countries whose macro-economic indicators over recent years have been far better than Pakistan. The survey, conducted every other year, collects data from OICCI members only.
Nearly all members, who participated in the survey, intend to continue operating in Pakistan, and two-thirds of the respondents, indicated their intention to expand operations.
Over 45 per cent of the respondents plan to invest more in the next four to five years as compared to the corresponding past period and 59 per cent of respondents plan to increase their headcounts. Improved two-way trade with India was viewed favourably as a business facilitator by 60 per cent of the respondents.
Thirty-nine per cent respondents indicated that the Revised 2011 Afghan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement is positive provided it is implemented properly.
The levy of the Sindh Development and Maintenance of Infrastructure (SDMI) on imports continues to be a big issue for businesses based in Sindh as it contributes to the increased cost of doing business in the province.