Foreign Investors in Pakistan Wary of Security Concerns: OICCI

Foreign Investors in Pakistan Wary of Security Concerns: OICCI

Karachi, July 10, 2024 – The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) released its 2024 Security Survey, indicating a growing unease among foreign investors regarding Pakistan’s security situation.

The survey, conducted in June 2024, compared member feedback on security in major commercial centers with the previous year. It found a concerning rise in security worries, particularly in Karachi and Balochistan.

Deteriorating Security Landscape

Compared to 2023, a significant portion of respondents reported a worsening security situation in 2024. Karachi witnessed a sharp increase in concerns, with 80% of respondents expressing unease compared to 69% in the prior year. Members highlighted a surge in street crime incidents not just in Karachi but across Sindh province. Balochistan also saw a security decline, with concerns rising from 68% to 75%.

Positive Developments in Certain Regions

Despite the overall trend, the survey identified some positive developments. Lahore, Punjab, and Peshawar reported marginal improvements in perceived security. Lahore saw a significant 24% decrease in security concerns, with percentages dropping from 73% to 49%. Punjab and Peshawar also showed slight improvements, with concerns lowering to 53% and 58% respectively.

Security Remains a Major Business Hurdle

The survey underlines that security remains a critical barrier for foreign investment in Pakistan. Consistent with the 2023 results, a significant 71% of respondents identified security as one of their top three concerns when conducting business in the country.

Focus on Security Crucial for FDI

Commenting on the findings, Kamran Ataullah Khan, a member of the OICCI management committee, emphasized the need for sustained efforts by law enforcement agencies. He stressed that robust security measures are essential for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). Khan further highlighted the negative impact of economic instability and security issues on foreign business visits.

Detailed Security Feedback for Policymakers

OICCI CE/Secretary General M Abdul Aleem highlighted the survey’s value in providing foreign investor insights on security-related aspects of doing business in Pakistan. These aspects include street crime, expatriate safety, issues of bribery, and potential disruptions due to protests.

About the OICCI Security Survey

The OICCI Security Survey is an annual initiative launched in 2015. This year’s iteration saw participation from over two-thirds of the organization’s members, including CEOs and senior management representatives. It’s important to note that roughly 75% of OICCI members are headquartered in Karachi, with the remaining members based in Lahore and Islamabad, but operating nationwide.

OICCI: A Voice for Foreign Investors

The OICCI serves as the collective voice for major foreign investors in Pakistan. With over 200 members representing more than 30 countries, the organization plays a significant role in the Pakistani economy. OICCI members contribute substantially, generating over one-third of the nation’s total tax revenue and driving activity across 14 key sectors. Their presence fosters technology and skill transfer, creating significant employment opportunities. Additionally, roughly a quarter of OICCI member companies are listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange, and many are affiliated with globally recognized Fortune 500 companies. Beyond their economic contributions, OICCI members are actively involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives, impacting the lives of over 46 million people from underprivileged communities.