KARACHI  - Investors’ confidence for attracting new Foreign Direct Investment has been dented by the ongoing standoff in Islamabad, said a survey report conducted by Overseas Investor Chamber of Commerce and Industries.  After Karachi airport attack in June this year, the political deadlock in Islamabad and Lahore has negatively impacted ongoing business activities and the future investment plans of the investors.

Based on the feedback of a brief survey done in the first week of September with OICCI members, over fifty percent of the respondents have indicated that the recent events have caused postponement or cancellation of scheduled business meetings in Pakistan with overseas shareholders and regional management. It was further revealed that about a third of the respondents expect a fresh review of their planned new investment for the next three years. About half of the respondents expressed the opinion that such incidents affect their ability to retain critical talent in Pakistan. In terms of its immediate impact on the ongoing business operations and product distribution, 40pc of the respondent expect decline in sales and profitability with resultant reduction in tax payments. Majority of the respondents (62pc) foresee serious damage to the 2014-15 fiscal targets of the Government, with a small minority suggesting that this may also impact on the recently launched Vision 2025 targets.

Commenting on the survey findings, Asad S Jafar, President OICCI said that “OICCI believes in Pakistan and that brief surveys like this are not exhaustive but are meant to reflect an immediate assessment of the foreign investors of the current events in Pakistan.”

Asad Jafar added that we expect that the current uncertainty in the business environment will soon be stabilised and that the authorities, both at the federal and provincial levels, would continue to address the key issues affecting business and investment, which is security, law and order, energy supply gap, serious concern on governance and policy implementations and need for a structured accountability on business and investment issues in line with Vision 2025.