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KARACHI: Overseas Chamber of commerce and Industry (OICCI) 2017 annual security survey, conducted in June 2017, highlights a positive movement in its members' perception of security environment in the country.

Overseas Chamber of Commerce and Industry conducted such a comprehensive security survey every year since 2015. It reflected the foreign investors' perception on the improving security environment in the country especially after the launch of 2013 Karachi operations, said OCCI press release here on Monday.

The 2017 security survey respondents experienced a reduction in the overall street crimes-- 69 % reduction in petty crimes like mobile and cash snatching, and 90 percent decrease in the higher intensity street crimes including car snatching.

In respect of serious crimes i.e. abductions/taking hostage and 'Bhatta' demands, the respondents across Pakistan reported major reductions as compared to 2016, ranging from 94% decrease in Lahore, closely followed by rest of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa 93 and Karachi 92 percent.

OICCI members had reported significant improvement in the confidence and comfort of their staff on security matters which had gone up further after the 86% increase reported in the previous survey. The staff felt even more comfortable in their everyday commute to and from the workplace.

More significantly, a noteworthy feedback from the latest OICCI security survey was that a higher number of expatriate business visitors have travelled to Pakistan in the past one year and most of the business related meetings are now being held within Pakistan which prior to August 2013 were conducted in other countries due to security concerns.

This was a strong indicator that Pakistan as a destination has improved on the security concerns map and that such foreign businessmen are being granted travel permissions for their visit to Pakistan from their respective embassies and travel security agencies.

An overwhelming 62 percentage respondents reported substantial increase in the number of overseas visitors to Pakistan as compared to last year.

The highest number of OICCI members foreign visitors were from European countries including United Kingdom and followed closely by visitors from Middle East, China, Singapore, USA and Japan.  Commenting on the survey findings, OICCI President Khalid Mansoor said that the 2017 survey once again re-affirmed that threats and security concerns had substantially reduced in Pakistan for all key stakeholders of businesses also OICCI members.

The security environment has substantially improved not only for the survey participants, meaning foreign investors, but also for their customers, suppliers and employees.

The 2017 OICCI security survey result mirrors the improved security environment, all over Pakistan, especially in Karachi in comparison to the last year and greatly enhanced since the time prior to August 2013.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017

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