Law and order situation has improved significantly in Pakistan following a number of sting operations carried out by the armed forces during the period of last four years. This improved law and order situation reflects vividly in the survey conducted by Business Confidence Index (BCI) – Wave 15, according to which business confidence in the country stood at positive 21% for the last six months i.e. May 2017 – October 2017, compared to the Wave 14’s results in May.
Before May 2017, business confidence index remained at a positive 13% only. The improvement during the last six months shows that the growing confidence of the business community in Pakistan can also increase the chances of more investment in the coming future. After two negative trends in Wave 13 and 14, a positive trend was witnessed in the business community.
While the results have been encouraging for Pakistan, the numbers released for the last six months are still far away from the record 36% confidence that was achieved in April last year. The improvement in the current result was led by the wholesale trade and retail sector that witnessed an uptrend of 40%, an increase from 27% if compared with the last survey. Similarly, manufacturing and services sector also recorded positive 16% and 15% respectively, while confidence of foreign investors went up by 5% to 42%.
BCI is a biannual assessment sponsored by the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) which has more than 195 multinationals under its umbrella. The survey includes responses from the members of OICCI as well as from common companies. Apart from the improved security situation in the country, decrease in fuel prices, improvement in energy crisis were also the key components for improved results.
President of OICCI Khalid Mansoor said that despite the improved situation, the government needs to take strict measures to improve Pakistan’s rating in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business reports. In a recent report, World Bank gave Pakistan a poor rating of 147 out of 190 countries, which was way below the 75 rating that was achieved in 2010.