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FDI surges to over four-year high in April

Our Correspondent
Saturday, May 18, 2024

KARACHI: Pakistan’s foreign direct investment in April rose to the highest level in more than four years, according to data from the central bank released on Friday, in a sign that global investors’ confidence in the country’s economy improving amid discussions with the International Monetary Fund for a fresh bailout.

The amount of foreign direct investment in April totaled $359 million, its highest since December 2019. This represents an increase of 39 percent month-on-month and 172 percent year-on-year.

China accounted for the majority of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the nation, totaling $177 million in April. With $194 million, the power sector saw the most inflows.In the first ten months of the fiscal year 2024, net foreign direct investment inflows climbed to $1.458 billion, an increase of 8 percent over the same period last year.

The SBP’s data showed that FDI in gas and exploration sector rose 69 percent to $193 million in July-April FY24.Analysts said the talks with the IMF for a new larger and longer loan, along with privatisation of the loss-making state-owned enterprises boost the foreign investors’ confidence in the country’s economy.

It was anticipated that Saudi Arabia will invest $5 billion in Pakistan; also, the government in Islamabad was attempting to attract investment from other Gulf nations in order to bolster the country's economy.

Pakistan has been actively seeking foreign investment in the face of economic difficulties, and last year it created the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), a hybrid civil-military organisation, with that goal in mind.

International investors interested in a variety of industries, including mining, agriculture, energy, information technology, and defence manufacturing can take a simpler and more direct route through the SIFC, which was established to act as a single point of contact for all foreign investment activities.