KARACHI: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) jumped by 51.7 per cent to $258 million in March compared to $170m in the same month last year.

Higher FDI inflows amid prevailing economic and political uncertainties, particularly after the general elections, would help the new government improve the country’s image abroad through economic reforms.

However, the State Bank of Pakistan data released on Monday showed that the FDI inflows in the first nine months of the current fiscal year fell compared to the same period in the preceding fiscal year.

During July-March FY24, the country received $1.099bn against an inflow of $1.217bn in the same period of last year, showing a fall of 9.7pc or a loss of $118m. Pakistan has the lowest FDI preference in the region and receives close to $2bn in FDI per annum.

The FDI inflows from at least two countries were disappointing during this period. China has been the biggest investor in Pakistan but the scenario has changed. The inflow from China was $262m in 9MFY24 compared to $556.6m in the same period last year.

Inflows from the UAE dropped drastically. The nine-month inflow from UAE was $27.7m compared to $88.7m in the same period last fiscal year. The government expects to attract billions of dollars from the UAE under the SIFC.

The nine-month inflows from Hong Kong were $264m, from the UK $196.3m, from the USA $100.7m, and from Japan $5.2m against $140m in the same period last year.

Published in Dawn, April 23nd, 2024

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