US investors optimistic about Pakistan in the long term

US investors optimistic about Pakistan in the long term

KARACHI: The American Business Council (ABC) has conducted its annual surveys, suggesting that companies had plans to invest in Pakistan in the future and almost 95% of the respondents still being optimistic about the long term economic and operating climate of Pakistan.

A statement here on Thursday said that in perception survey, over 40% of the respondents indicated that the perception of Pakistan had improved as compared to 6% from last year.

The perception survey allows ABC members to rate their satisfaction on various economic, regulatory and political facts that affect the performance and growth of businesses operating in Pakistan.

It was pointed out that the business climate was rated on each of the various factors influencing it: including implementation and consistency of policies, political situation, law and order, internal and external political climate, government development budget, level playing field and impact of undocumented economy.

Overall positive perception of American investors revealed an expectation of some economic stability and an improvement in Pakistan economy.

Kamran Nishat, president of the American Business Council of Pakistan said, our members are very optimistic and do see a brighter prosperous Pakistan. International perception is important and how Pakistan can compete with other countries in the region and attract investment', he added.

In The Financial Survey, reflecting how much the US companies are contributing to the national exchequer, Rs. 135.50 billion was given as taxes to the Government of Pakistan in 2017 as oppose to Rs 119 billion the year before. This is an increase of almost 14%. However the exports for the year dwindled down by 10% from Rs 13 billion to Rs 11.6 billion.

Third survey was Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Survey. This survey highlights the contribution of the American companies to the well-being of the communities and society in which they operate.

The seven sectors in which companies contributed the most were Education -70% , Healthcare -55% , Women Empowerment -43%, child welfare -36%,Disaster Relief 36%, People with Special needs -34%, sport development -25%.

An increasing trend was observed where the number of people who had been reached through CRS initiative's increased from 51,800 in 2014 to 61,700 in 2015. And now in 2016 - 68,100 an increase of almost 10% from the previous year.

Amongst all the provinces - Sindh benefited the most from the CSR activity with 84% of the funds being utilized in the region.