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Foreign investment plunges 51pc

Updated April 19, 2019

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During March, FDI clocked in at $177.5 million, increasing by 5.15pc month-on-month over $168.8m reported in February this year. ─ AFP/File
During March, FDI clocked in at $177.5 million, increasing by 5.15pc month-on-month over $168.8m reported in February this year. ─ AFP/File

KARACHI: Net foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country plunged by 51 per cent to $1.273 billion in the first nine months of this fiscal year, from $2.621bn in corresponding period last year, reported the State Bank of Pakistan on Thursday.

Meanwhile, during March, FDI clocked in at $177.5 million, increasing by 5.15pc month-on-month over $168.8m reported in February this year.

The inflows from China showed an even steeper decline as net FDI from the country dipped by a massive 291pc to $05.8m during July-March FY19, as against $1.59bn in same months of 2017-18 — representing a decrease of $1.182bn in absolute terms.

This must be a deep concern for the government which has been claiming improving economic relations with the north-eastern neighbour. Later this month, Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to visit China on a four-day trip regarding the free trade agreement and other matters, which could potentially help Pakistan open up more for investments.

Another big decline was noted from the United Kingdom as FDI fell to $149.8m during 9MFY19, as against $239m in same period last year. Similarly, inflows from the United States of America declined to $63.8m during the months under review, from $130m in July-March FY18.

Moreover, there was a net foreign portfolio investment outflow worth $400.3m in 9MFY19, as compared to an inflow of $180.5m during the first nine months of 2017-18.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2019