Tuesday November 30, 2021

British American Tobacco shifting key business to Pakistan

December 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD: British American Tobacco (BAT) is shifting its Business Shared Services operations from Malaysia to Pakistan, which is indicative of increasing foreign investor trust in the country’s economic sustainability, a statement said on Tuesday.

BAT is the first multinational company to move its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services to Pakistan after Deutsche Bank withdrew its operations from the country.

This development came to fore in a high-level meeting at the Ministry of Commerce, which was chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood.

The commerce adviser noted the opening of business services by BAT “is an indication that the country is now being considered as a cost effective location for activities like back office services, BPO, call centres, etc”.

The adviser said earlier this year he had held a meeting with the management of BAT, via video link, in order to market Pakistan as a favourable destination for shared services.

He lauded the Pakistan Tobacco Company for succeeding in accomplishing this monumental task and announcing BAT’s plan to set up its ‘business shared services’ organisation for Asia Pacific and Middle East Region in Pakistan.

He told the meeting it was achieved after a rigorous process, spanning over several months, during which Pakistan was evaluated by BAT, along with countries like India and Bangladesh.

“This decision was taken after evaluating countries on key factors like the existing commercial presence of BAT, country sustainability, availability of workforce and talent etc,” Dawood said adding, “BAT’s project will create thousands of jobs in Pakistan over the next five years, besides serving as a talent incubator in the country”.

The meeting was informed that shared services are covered under Mode-II of the service exports and it would initially help the country earn $100 million per annum, with the potential to increase further in the future. Dawood said the government would facilitate the company in fulfilling legal and regulatory requirements to establish the organisation and hoped it would encourage other multinational subsidiaries in Pakistan to move such services to the country.