KARACHI - Security concerns, access to energy, recent Pak rupee depreciation which is adding cost of doing business and governance are the main issues that hampered the sentiment of foreign investor, beside all that members of the Overseas Investors Chambers of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) have positive investment plans for next few years. 

These are amongst key findings of the 2013 Perception and Investment survey launched on Tuesday by OICCI. The survey is based on feedback only from foreign investors who are members of OICCI.

Kimihide Ando, President OICCI, emphasised that the survey findings is the collective view of foreign investors who play a leading role in Pakistan’s economic growth.

With the representatives of 35 countries OICCI have a presence in 14 sectors of Pakistan’s economy, he added. 

Kimihide Ando said if the law and order situation and efficient energy supply is ensured at an optimal cost, Pakistan has all the potentials to attract a significantly higher foreign direct investment than what it has been able to get in the last few years.

He was hopeful that the relevant authorities will take it upon themselves to systematically address weak areas identified in the 2013 Perception and Investment survey, and help put the country back at a fast track of high level of economic growth and development.

According to the survey the potential for business growth and opportunities in Pakistan has resulted in nearly all existing foreign investors indicating they intend to continue operating in Pakistan and around two-thirds of the respondents plan to expand operations.

More than eighty percent of OICCI members have hope the present government will improve business climate, with seventy five percent of the members stating they will now recommend more foreign direct investment into Pakistan.

The survey said total investments indicated by respondents’ amount to approximately $3 billion over the next 5 years. The insufficient protection of trademarks and intellectual property rights also continues to be an issue for investors, and they have also expressed negative sentiments for the “Fairness of Laws and Regulations”, “Contract Enforcement” and “Level Playing Field”, despite some improvement over the 2011 survey.

The ongoing security situation, especially in Karachi, the biggest challenge facing the business community closely followed by energy, survey added.

With the perception of the present dispensation being more favorable than in 2011, “Political Instability”, which emerged as the third biggest challenge in the last survey, stands replaced by the recent “Rupee Depreciation” in the present one.

“Cost of Doing Business” and “Governance” are other major points. The issue of good governance and less than satisfactory policy implementation remains a key outstanding issue. Though a large number of members perceive government policies favourably, sixty six percent are critical of policy implementation.