KARACHI: Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has shown grave concern over the deteriorating law and order condition in Karachi saying that the situation is affecting both domestic and foreign investors.
OICCI President Humayun Bashir said that the OICCI has consistently sought to counter the negative image of the country. To this end, OICCI has hosted foreign delegations and promoted Pakistan’s friendly image abroad, attracting more foreign visitors in recent months to Pakistan, particularly Karachi, to facilitate business and investment in the country.
“However, these efforts will be futile if authorities responsible for maintaining law and order do not take control of the situation immediately,” he said in a press release on Wednesday.
The security situation in Karachi is affecting our stakeholders, including foreign investors, who collectively contribute approximately 20% of total taxes collected, it said.
The managing committee of the OICCI has recently approached the governor and the chief minister of Sindh, calling for urgent corrective action by the authorities. OICCI has also invited Sindh’s political leadership for a meeting with its members to discuss the depressing situation which is inimical to investment.
OICCI also linked the continuous decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) to the security conditions in the country. Referring to the recent report by the State Bank of Pakistan, the release said that the FDI contracted by over 65% to $680.4 million during 2011-12, an all-time low in Pakistan’s recent history.
Even so, OICCI members have invested close to a billion dollars from their retained earnings in the same period. However, this trend may not be sustainable if foreign companies operating or planning to invest in Pakistan are driven away due to the deteriorating operating and security conditions.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2012.