DAVOS, Jan 17: Over 78 percent American companies are willing to invest more in Pakistan over the next 12 months, owing to improved security and long-term economic climate, a survey by the American Business Council (ABC) of Pakistan (ABC) said.
The survey results are 13 percent up from 65%, according to a perception survey conducted last year. The survey termed improved security situation of the country as the main reason behind the positive trend.
It also showed a significant improvement of over 30% in perception of security-related matters as compared to last year.
Up to 83 percent of ABC investors also expressed optimism about the long-term economic and operating climate in the country.
The ABC members rated their satisfaction on various economic, regulatory and political factors that affect the performance and growth of businesses operating in Pakistan over fiscal year 2015-16.
The business climate was rated on each of the various factors influencing it; including implementation and consistency of trade and competition policies, government development budget, domestic market, internal and external political climate and law and order.
For 2015-16, the vast majority of respondents rated the business climate of Pakistan as satisfactory with only 8 percent giving it a poor rating. This is a marked improvement over 2014-15 when 11 percent of participants rated the business climate as poor.
The overall positive perception of American investors reveals an expectation of some economic stability and an improvement in Pakistan’s economic environment.
The participants were also asked to rate the performance of various ministries and the overall trend showed a slight improvement in their performance from last year.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources showed a marked improvement with 78 percent of participants reporting the performance as fair and 16 percent reporting it as poor.
In 2014-15, only 46 percent had rated it’s performance as fair and 51 percent had rated it poorly.
The ABC is one of the largest investor groups in Pakistan with 67 members , most of them represent Fortune 500 companies.
They operate in various sectors including healthcare, financial services, information technology, chemicals and fertilisers, energy, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), food and beverage, oil and others. ABC members have cumulative revenues of $4 billion.
Their contribution to the national exchequer, through direct/indirect taxes, is approximately Rs102 billion.
Its members exported goods worth Rs6.6 billion during 2015.