Foreign investors satisfied with Pakistan’s security environment

Web DeskWeb Editor

28th Jul, 2021. 03:15 pm
karachi sky line

KARACHI: Foreign investors operating in Pakistan have expressed satisfaction with the security environment in the country, a survey revealed on Wednesday.

The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), the collective body of top 200 foreign investors in Pakistan, released the results of its latest Annual Security Survey 2021.

The survey was conducted from May 21 till June 21, 2021. Around two-thirds of the OICCI members have their head offices in Karachi with operations across the country.

Compared to the security situation in the middle of 2020, the overall security environment, according to 2021 OICCI Survey, has improved, especially in Lahore (according to 61 per cent of the respondents), KP (59 per cent), rest of Punjab (53 per cent) and Karachi (51 per cent).

However, some of the members expressed concern regarding the growing street crimes, especially in Karachi.

Irfan Siddiqui, president of the 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 [the] potential investors.”

The OICCI president said the foreign investors have appreciated the continuing focus of the law-enforcement agencies in improving the security environment, one of the key components for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.

Security remains one of the top three concerns for 62 per cent of the respondents, a marginal improvement over 70 per cent respondents in the 2020 survey.

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

The foreign business visitors were mainly from China, the UK, US, Germany, Japan, the UAE (where regional headquarters of several member companies are located), as well as other European and Asian countries.

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

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

For street crimes, 17 per cent respondents in Karachi, compared with 7 per cent last year, indicated significant increase over the last year, while up to 5 per cent respondents in the rest of the country (Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, and Peshawar) indicated significant increase.

M Abdul Aleem, CEO and secretary general of the OICCI, said: “[The] OICCI is encouraged with the continuing improvement in the overall security assessment of the foreign investors, which will help further boost the potential foreign direct investment in Pakistan.”

“Going forward, we are confident that the law-enforcement agencies will soon be able to also control the recent spike in street crimes and will further reinforce the positive security environment in the country.”

The OICCI 2021 Security Survey was responded by over two-thirds of the over 200 members and the respondents included chief executive officers and senior management of the member organisations.

This security survey has been conducted annually since 2015. The OICCI Security Survey is comprehensive and gives a detailed feedback of foreign investors operating in Pakistan on various aspects of doing business connected with the security and its impact on their operation, which is regularly sought by the headquarters of the member companies, diplomats of over 30 countries represented at the chamber, security professionals and other stakeholders.

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