KARACHI: A large number of US companies have plans to invest in Pakistan, with almost 95 per cent participants of American Business Council (ABC) ‘perception survey’ optimistic about long-term economic and operating environment in the country.
These findings of the annual ABC survey were shared with the media on Thursday. Over 40pc of the respondents indicated that the perception of Pakistan improved in 2016-17, compared to 6pc from the year before.
For 2016-17, 45pc rated the business climate as being better as compared to the year before when 17pc respondents had rated it good, highlighting market improvement.
The most encouraging feedback received from ABC members is that overall positive perception of US investors was related to some economic stability and improvement in country’s economy.
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 the country.
The survey gauged the factors that mostly impacted business operations and investment plans — cost of operations headed the list with 87pc of the respondents giving it as being unsatisfactory, with political uncertainty being rated at 57pc unsatisfactory and the impact of undocumented economy at 77pc unsatisfactory.
The performance of various autonomous bodies directly affecting business climate was also monitored in the survey.
Departments like Intellectual Property Organisation, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and Board of Investment were rated as satisfactory.
The performance of various autonomous institutions directly affecting the business climate was also monitored. However, the ABC survey found the working of Federal Board of Revenue, Water and Power Development Authority, National Electric and Power Regulatory Authority and National Disaster Management Authority being unsatisfactory.
ABC President Kamran Nishat said, “Our members are very optimistic and do see a brighter and prosperous Pakistan. International perception is important and how Pakistan can compete with other countries in the region and attract investment.”
On the financial side, ABC member companies contributed Rs135.50 billion to the national exchequer in taxes in 2016-17 as compared to Rs119bn a year ago. There is an increase of almost 14pc. However, exports for the year dwindled down by 10pc from Rs13bn to Rs11.6bn.
Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2017