Why invest in Pakistan

Pakistan is ideally located for export-oriented industries and businesses. It has a pivotal position, as it is flanked by energy-rich Central Asian states and Gulf countries on one side, and South and East Asian states on the other flank.

According to JP Morgan, Pakistan's economic performance is commendable. GDP growth is higher, poverty rates are down, FDI is up, and fiscal deficits are within reasonable limits. Its run of success brought Pakistan's stock onto the radar screen of foreign fund managers. Added to this is the high surge in market capitalization. These favorable dynamics in the size and efficiency of both the physical and human capital stock has translated into medium-term growth.

Pakistan has a liberal foreign exchange regime with few restrictions on holding foreign exchange and bringing it in or out of the country. There are no limits on the inflow or outflow of funds for remittances of profits, debt service, capital, capital gains or payments for imported inputs.

Pakistan has in place well-established infrastructure and legal systems, which are important to attract investment. This includes comprehensive road, rail, sea links; good quality telecommunications and IT services; modern company laws and long-standing corporate culture.

All these factors are kept in mind by the local and foreign investors while making an investment decision in any country. To further sweeten the pie for the export-oriented industries and businesses, the Government has established a number of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) in the country with special incentives.

Karachi, the country’s largest modern city with a population of over 12 million, is a gateway to the Gulf, Middle East and Central Asia. It is the hub of the country’s business, trade, finance and industrial activities and generates about 15% of the national GDP, 42% of value-added goods in large-scale manufacturing and 25% of the revenues of the Federal Government. The city, with its large and diverse economy, is host to the principal offices of leading foreign and Pakistani banks, insurance companies and shipping lines.

Export Processing Zones in Pakistan

The Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) was established in 1980 by the Government with the mandate to plan, develop, manage and operate export processing zones in Pakistan. The Authority is an autonomous body and functions under the Ministry of Industries, Production & Special Initiatives and is administered by a Board of Directors headed by a Chairman. The Authority has since been pursuing an extensive industrial programme for setting up EP Zones in the country.

The first EPZ was established in Karachi, the first phase of which is fully developed & operational, 2nd Phase development is now almost complete and investors have started construction of buildings in it. One large unit of Y.K.K. Pakistan has started its operation in Phase II. Many other units are in the pipeline.

EPZA has supported diverse ownership of export processing zones. There are three joint venture zones located in Sialkot, Gujranwala and Risalpur.

Gwadar is the new EPZ location which is being developed near the newly constructed Gwadar Port.

Five exclusive projects have also been granted the status of export processing zones: These special EPZs are: Saindak Copper & Gold Mines, Duddar Lead and Zinc Mines, Reko Diq Metal Mines, Tuwairqi Steel Mill and Khalifa Coastal Oil Refinery.

Pakistan Geography:
South Asia; Pakistan has Arabian Sea in the South, India on the East, Iran and Afghanistan on the West and China in the North.
Maritime claims:
Contiguous zone: 24 NM
Continental shelf: 200 NM to the edge of the continental margin
Territorial sea: 12 NM
Exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Total: 803,940 sq km
Mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north
Area - comparative:
Slightly less than twice the size of California
Natural resources:
Land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, huge coal, iron ore, copper, salt and limestone reserves
Land boundaries:
Total: 6,774 km
Border countries: Afghanistan 2430 km, China 523 km, India 2912 km,
Iran 909 km
1,046 km
Pakistan Transportation:
Total: 8,163 km (2004 est)
Broad gauge: 7,718 km 1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified)
Ports and harbors:
Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim and Gwadar
Total: 257,683 km (2001 est)
Gas: 9,945 km
Oil: 1,821 km

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