Although coronavirus led adverse effects on Pakistan’s economy yet, the country has managed to maintain the volume of foreign direct investment (FDI).
For the past few years, Pakistan has been circulating a series of new policies and has taken steps to continuously change the business climate and promote foreign investment, which now plays a significant role in attracting foreign investment.
Cheng Xizhong, China Economic Net’s special commentator and visiting professor at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law said, “I believe one of the fundamental reasons for this is that significant progress has been made in building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).”
China and Pakistan have clear thinking about the next step of CPEC growth, and both sides are moving ahead with the creation of 10 special economic zones (SEZs), which makes foreign investors see the prospect of economic development for Pakistan and realize that Pakistan is an investment market with great potential.
Pakistan received US$ 279 million in FDI in March, a rise of 92% over the same time last year. As per the recent data from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the FDI exceeded US$ 2,148 billion in the first nine months of this fiscal year, a rise of 137% over the same period last fiscal year.
China is Pakistan’s biggest foreign investor, with a US$ 872 million contribution in the first nine months of the fiscal year, led by Norway, Malta, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States.
China’s investment in Pakistan can be divided into two groups. One is the investment in such ventures as electricity and transportation infrastructure. This form of investment does not have an immediate impact but in the long run it is of great importance. It is funded primarily by state-owned undertakings.
The other is the contribution of small and medium-sized Chinese enterprises. China’s small and medium-sized enterprises are highly involved and a significant foreign investment force. Wherever the investment climate is strong they will go to invest.
It has been notified that foreign investment primarily flows to Pakistan’s energy, transportation, information technology, finance and other industries, because Pakistan has a huge potential of growth in these core sectors.
China has flourished in the area of information technology, with the world’s leading information technology. China should share its experience with Pakistan in the field of information technology. While the pandemic spreads, online education, online workplace, online conference and online shopping are becoming increasingly popular. Both of these rely on the help of the information technology.