Country: Pakistan

January 2013

Economy of Pakistan during the last five years grew on average at the rate of 2.9 percent per annum.The commodity producing sectors (agriculture plus industrial sector) are picking up economic activities gradually.

The Agriculture sector recorded a growth of 3.3 percent against the previous year’s growth rate of 3.5 percent. The Large Scale Manufacturing sector grew by 2.8 percent as compared to the growth of 1.2 percent in the last year. The Services sector recorded a growth of 3.7 percent as compared to 5.3 percent in 2011-12.

The country has enormous potential to grow at much higher rate which is demonstrated by the achievement of the 3.6 percent growth this year despite the numerous internal and external challenges like energy crises and law and order situation brought on by the campaign against extremism with its associated destruction of physical infrastructure etc.

Investment has a key role in the determination of economic growth of a country. It increases the productive capacity of the economy, creates the employment opportunities, and promotes technological advancements through embodiment of new techniques.

Investment spending is considered a volatile, component of aggregate demand because it depends on multiple factors. That is why it causesmuch fluctuations of the GDP. Investment has been hard hit by internal and external factors during the last few years and is considered as a key concern. Total investment has decreased from 18.79 percentof GDP in 2006-07 to 14.22 percent of GDP in 2012-13. Fixed investment has declined to 12.6 percent of GDP in 2012-13 from 17.61 percent of GDP in 2007-08. Private investment recorded a contraction of 8.7 percent in 2012-13 compared to 12.8 percent of GDP in 2007-08. Public investment as a percent of GDP also decreased to 3.9 percent in 2012-13 against the 4.8 percent in 2007-08. Although the investment climate remained challenging in view of unstable security situation on account of campaign against extremism, yet the resolve of the government is to address this issue and create an enabling environment to revive the confidence of the investors.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) has triggered technology spillovers, assisted human capital formation, contributed to international trade integration, helped in creating a more competitive business environment and promoted enterprises development. These developments contributed positively to higher economic growth, which is the most effective tool for alleviating poverty. Pakistan like many other developing countries, has initiated wide ranging structural reforms in various sectors of the economy to restore macroeconomic stability and improve enabling environment to attract FDI. New government has a comprehensive plan to create investment friendly environment and to attract foreign investors in the country. As is evident that post 2013 election, the capital market crossed 21,000 plus points emitting positive signals for restoring the investor’s confidence.

Pakistan has a very fruitful market for foreign investors having its very large consumer base of more than 180 million people. People need food, energy and other amenities to live and thrive. There is a great potential in the power and infrastructure sector and in natural resources. There seems to be huge scope for investment in hydel and coal based power projects, alternative energy like wind power and natural gas transmission from foreign lands. The country also needs infrastructure, world class education systems, exploration of its natural resources and mechanization of industries. Foreign investors can exploit all such opportunities.

(Source: Pakistan Economic Survey 2012-13 available on http://finance.gov.pk/survey_1213.html )

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