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Monday July 22, 2024

Foreign investors alarmed by security decline: survey

OICCI released its latest Security Survey 2024 on Wednesday, revealing heightened concerns over security

By Our Correspondent
July 11, 2024
Sindh Police personnel can be seen passing on a police vehicle in Karachi. — AFP/File
Sindh Police personnel can be seen passing on a police vehicle in Karachi. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Foreign investors working in Pakistan have voiced serious apprehensions regarding the worsening security environment, with Karachi topping the list for deteriorated security and serious crime trends.

The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) released its latest Security Survey 2024 on Wednesday, revealing heightened concerns over security across the country.

According to the survey, respondents reported an overall deterioration in security conditions in 2024 compared to the previous year. Karachi witnessed a significant decline, with concerns rising from 69 per cent to 80 per cent, attributed to escalating incidents of street crime in the city and throughout Sindh. Similarly, Balochistan’s security situation deteriorated from 68 per cent to 75 per cent.

Conducted in June 2024, the survey compared feedback from the same period last year, focusing on members’ perceptions of security in Pakistan’s key commercial centres. Marginal improvements were noted in Lahore, where security improved from 73 per cent to 49 per cent, in Punjab from 63 per cent to 53 per cent, and in Peshawar from 68 per cent to 58 per cent. Security in the rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also saw improvement, increasing from 67 per cent to 61 per cent.

Security remains a top concern for 71 per cent of respondents doing business in Pakistan, consistent with findings from the 2023 survey. Kamran Ataullah Khan, a member of the OICCI’s management committee, emphasized the critical need for sustained efforts by law enforcement agencies to enhance security, essential for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). He noted that economic instability and security incidents have impacted business-related visits by foreign nationals.

Secretary General of the OICCI M Abdul Aleem highlighted that the survey provides detailed insights from foreign investors on security-related aspects of doing business in Pakistan, including street crimes, expatriate security, illegal gratification, and protests.

The OICCI Security Survey, conducted annually since 2015, received responses from over two-thirds of its members, including CEOs and senior management. Approximately 75 per cent of OICCI members are based in OICCI represents major foreign investors in Pakistan, comprising over 200 members from more than 30 countries.