Pakistan: Foreign private investment jumps 51%

KARACHI (Dawn/ANN) - Foreign private investment increased by 51 per cent to $564.8 million in the first quarter of this fiscal year, up from $374m in same period of 2018.

Foreign private investment increased by 51 per cent to $564.8 million in the first quarter of this fiscal year, up from $374m in same period of 2018.

Meanwhile, foreign direct investment (FDI) edged lower by 3.1pc to $542.1m during July-Sept, as compared to $559.4m in same quarter last year.

However, FDI in September clocked in at $385.3m, surging by 111.6pc over $182.1m in corresponding month last year.

If the September trend persists for the remaining fiscal year, the country could receive record high investment it received during the last five years but it depends upon the business environment and low cost of doing business.

Data reveals that the most significant chunk came from Norway, even beating China which has been the largest investor in the country for the last three years.

FDI from Norway stood at $263.7m, soaring by a whopping 1,600pc, over just $15.5m in the same quarter of FY19. Of this, $253.2m were invested in September.

On the other hand, inflows from China plunged 70.4pc to $103m during July-September versus $348m in corresponding months last year.

Prime Minister Imran Khan recently visited China to speed up the working on projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Sector-wise investment indicates that telecommunications attracted highest amount of $246.4 million during the quarter. This represented a massive growth of 389.6pc over $54m recorded in July-September FY19.

Inflows in the oil and gas exploration, on the flip side, dipped by 54pc to $34.1m during the first quarter, compared to $74.1m in same period last fiscal year.

The sector is at the top of government’s priority list for attracting investments but the response during the latest quarter is disappointing.

The attraction for hydel power also declined as the investment fell to $27.3m, from $36m. Inflows in cars didn’t show much difference as they came in at $25.8m, down from $29.5m.

However, a big jump was noted in electrical machinery as it received $64.8m during the quarter, rising from 1QFY19 level of just $5.2m.

A major change was noted in portfolio investment which had been showing outflows for most of the time but in the latest quarter posted a net inflow at $22.7m, as opposed to a net outflow of $185.3m in corresponding months last year.

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