Corruption, security issues biggest hurdles for foreign investment in Pakistan

February 11th, 2011 - 5:26 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 11(ANI): Financial corruption and the law and order situation in Pakistan are the biggest hurdles in attracting foreign trade and investment in the country, a business conference in London has heard.

The UK Trade & Investment and the Pakistan High Commission jointly held the “Doing business in Pakistan” conference in London, The News reported.

The conference heard Minister for Trade & Investment Lord Green, Chairman Board of Investment Saleem Mandiwala, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson and Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamusl Hasan chart out plans for attracting more British businesses to invest in Pakistan.

Lord Green said that Pakistan’s expanding youth, middle class and growing English speaking population provided opportunities for the country, but warned that Pakistan must address the challenges of security and corruption. Political stability and the law and order situation have a role to play in foreign investments, he said, adding that the UK was keen to help Pakistan deepen bilateral relations.

Saleem Mandiwala admitted that investors were shy of going to Pakistan due to its engagement in the “war on terror”, but also acknowledged that corruption was another hindrance.

“Despite these challenges, Pakistan economy has been able to sustain an acceptable growth rate of 4.1% in 2009-10,” he told the conference.British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson spoke about the opportunities and engagement in Pakistan but also made clear that the country harms itself with corruption. He quoted the Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009 which ranked Pakistan 101st out of 130 countries, and in which the respondents named corruption as the second most problematic factor for doing business, after government instability. Speaking about the issue of corruption, Thomson said: “It’s a problem about which it’s widely considered that the government of Pakistan is insufficiently serious. I know British businesses that have had to pull back because a deal smelt bad.”Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, said that further British investments in Pakistan were needed to ensure sustained economic growth, strengthen democracy and promote political stability in the country. (ANI)

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