Foreign investors satisfied with improving security environment: OICCI survey

OICCI president says foreign investors undeterred by isolated incidents like the June 29 PSX attack

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ISLAMABAD: Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) released the results of its latest Annual Security Survey 2020, covering feedback on the security environment in Pakistan from July 2019 to June 2020.

According to the survey, foreign investors have shown high level of satisfaction regarding the fast improving security environment and have also appreciated the performance of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in Karachi and  Lahore, raising the security satisfaction profile of the two business hubs and bringing them at par with other mega-cities in the region.

Commenting on the survey findings OICCI President Haroon Rashid said that “the smooth and professional handling of the brazen attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on June 29 and the restoration of order within a very short time is a testimony of the OICCI members’ confidence in the ability of the LEAs to professionally combat any threat to life and property in the country”.

“Foreign investors are not deterred by such isolated incidents and continue to take a holistic view of the operating environment which is continuously improving and which OICCI members perceive to be highly positive,” the OICCI president added.

The survey, conducted from May 15 to June 22 includes participation from Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and senior management of member organisations. In total, 70 per cent of the OICCI’s 200 members, who belong to 35 countries and operate in 14 key sectors of the economy in Pakistan participated in the survey. Currently over two third of the OICCI members have their head offices in Karachi with operations all over the country.

OICCI 2020 Security Survey indicates that foreign investors, overall, are impressed with further improvement in the security environment over the past twelve months, since July 2019, especially in Karachi and Lahore, with noticeable improvement in other business centers as well.

While assessing the overall security situation, 60 per cent of the respondents reported an improved security environment for their businesses, customers, suppliers and employees.

OICCI Vice President Irfan Siddiqui pointed out that “this improvement is over and above the already improved security environment last year and the continuous improvement recorded in the OICCI members annual security surveys since 2015”. 

“It is highly encouraging that despite many disruptions during the past twelve months, due to Azadi March in December 2019, border tension with India during Q3 2019 and subsequent travel restriction since end March 2020 due to Covid-19, foreign nationals visiting Pakistan for OICCI members business prior to Covid-19, showed a healthy increase, as over 40 per cent respondents reported more visitors than last year, with 26 per cent hosting more than 50 visitors and majority respondents getting between 20 and 50 visitors,” he further said.

Majority of the foreign business visitors were from China, UK, USA, UAE, as well as other European and Asian countries.

Due to the sustained improvement of the security environment, OICCI members reported that over 90 per cent of the board and management meetings of their Pakistan business operations, involving head quarters or regional management, were held within the country.

In terms of serious crimes, 87 per cent of respondents indicated a decrease over the last year in Karachi and Lahore. 

However, 37 per cent respondents in Karachi and 27 per cent in Lahore expressed concern on increasing street crimes. According to the results Islamabad experienced the lowest increase in street crimes among the key business centers.

Foreign investors also expressed satisfaction with the performance of law enforcement agencies, with over 90 per cent expressing satisfaction in their interactions with Karachi and Lahore Police, Sindh Rangers, Punjab Police and CPLC and 84 per cent expressing satisfaction with interactions with Sindh Police.

OICCI Security Survey gives a comprehensive and detailed feedback of a large number of foreign investors operating in Pakistan on various aspects of doing business connected with security and its impact on business operations. 

Established in 1860, OICCI is the largest chamber of commerce in Pakistan based on economic contribution in the form of taxes and investment by its members. The chamber includes over 200 foreign investors in Pakistan, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies, who contribute about one third of the total tax collection in the country.

 

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