Tuesday September 21, 2021

Foreign investors upbeat with improved security environment in Pakistan

July 29, 2021

KARACHI: Foreign investors on Wednesday expressed satisfaction on significant improvement in Pakistan’s security environment, saying continuing betterment will help in further boosting potential foreign direct investment in the country.

In a Annual Security Survey 2021 , the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) said the positive perception of the security environment by the leading foreign investors operating in the country, is a matter of great satisfaction and also conveys a positive message to potential investors.

The OICCI, the collective body of top 200 foreign investors in Pakistan, released the results of its latest survey, covering feedback on the security environment in the commercial centers of Pakistan. The survey was conducted from May 21 till June 21.

Compared to the security situation in mid 2020, the overall security environment, according to 2021 OICCI Survey, has further improved, especially in Lahore (according to 61 percent of the respondents), KPK (59 percent), the rest of Punjab (53 percent) and Karachi (51 percent). However, some of the OICCI members have expressed concern in respect of growing street crimes, especially in Karachi.

Irfan Siddiqui, president OICCI said the foreign investors have appreciated the continuing focus of law enforcement agencies in improving the security environment, one of the key components for attracting FDI in the country. "Security remains one of the top three concerns for 62 percent of the respondents, a marginal improvement over 7O percent respondents in the 2020 survey,” Siddiqui said in a statement.

It is encouraging that despite Covid-19 related travel restrictions since March 2020, the visit of foreign nationals visiting Pakistan for OICCI members business continued during the past one year, though at a lower frequency.

Foreign business visitors were mainly from China, UK, USA, Germany, Japan, UAE (where several member companies' regional HQ are located), as well as other European and Asian countries.

In terms of serious crimes, 87 percent respondents indicated either a decrease over last year or ‘not an issue’ in Lahore and 75 percent respondents indicated either a decrease over last year or ‘not an issue’ in Karachi.

Similarly, 89 percent, 75 percent and 73 percent respondents indicated either a decrease over last year or ‘not an issue’ in KPK, Quetta and the rest of Balochistan.

OICCI said going forward, the group is confident that "the LEASs will soon be able to also control the recent spike in street crimes and will further reinforce the positive security environment in the country".