The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), which is the collective body of the top 200 foreign investors in Pakistan, has released the results of its latest Annual Security survey 2021, covering feedback on the security environment in the commercial centers of Pakistan.
The survey was conducted from 21 May to 21 June, and about two-thirds of the OICCI members have their head offices in Karachi with operations all over the country.
According to the 2021 OICCI Survey, the overall security environment has improved more as compared to the security situation in mid-2020, especially in Lahore (according to 61 percent of the respondents), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (59 percent respondents), the rest of the Punjab (53 percent respondents), and Karachi (51 percent). However, some members expressed concerns about the growing number of street crimes, especially in Karachi.
Commenting on the survey findings, Irfan Siddiqui, President OICCI said “the positive perception of the security environment by the leading foreign investors operating in the country, is a matter of great satisfaction and also conveys a positive message to potential investors”.
The President of the OICCI said, “The foreign investors have appreciated the continuing focus of our LEAs in improving the security environment, one of the key components for attracting FDI in the country. Security remains one of the top three concerns for 62 percent of the respondents, a marginal improvement over 70 percent respondents in the 2020 survey”.
It is highly encouraging that despite the pandemic-related travel restrictions since March 2020, the visits of foreign nationals to Pakistan for OICCI members’ business continued during the last year, albeit at a lower frequency. The foreign business visitors were mainly from China, the UK, the USA, Germany, Japan, the UAE (where several member companies’ regional headquarters are located), and other European and Asian countries.
Regarding serious crimes, 87 percent of the respondents indicated either a decrease during the last year or termed it as ‘not an issue’ in Lahore, and 75 percent of the respondents indicated either a decrease over last year or termed it as ‘not an issue’ in Karachi. Similarly, 89 percent, 75 percent, and 73 percent of the respondents indicated either a decrease during the last year or termed it as ‘not an issue’ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Quetta, and the rest of Baluchistan.
For street crimes, 17 percent of respondents in Karachi (as compared to seven percent last year) indicated a significant increase over last year, while up to five percent of respondents in the rest of the country (in Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, and Peshawar) indicated a significant increase.
In conclusion, the CEO and Secretary-General of the OICCI, M. Abdul Aleem, observed that the OICCI is “encouraged with the continuing improvement in the overall security assessment of the foreign investors, which will help in further boosting potential FDI in Pakistan. Going forward, we are confident that the Law Enforcement Agencies will soon be able to also control the recent spike in street crimes and will further reinforce the positive security environment in the country”.
The OICCI 2021 Security survey was responded to by over two-thirds of the over 200 members, and the survey respondents included CEOs and senior management of member organizations. This security survey has been conducted annually since 2015.