Foreign institutions are wild-eyed about investing in Pakistan. And why not! The macro-economic indicators of the country are showing signs of revival which has instilled business confidence and the sentiments of investors. Recall that not long ago a China based company expressed its intentions to invest in textile and energy sectors of Pakistan. And now the insurance sector is in the limelight.
Talking of apple to apple comparisons, Pakistan is no longer compared to the likes of Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, etc. The IMF last year created a new analytical region MENAP, including Afghanistan and Pakistan in the MENA region. The IMF recent World Economic Outlook 2014 report hints at MENAP region turning a corner in 2014-15, having witnessed tepid growth of late.
While the Islamic banking industry is making significant strides-achieving double-digit growth of over 21 percent year on year in CY13-one spectacular revelation recently made by the SBP was the phenomenal jump in the share of Islamic banking in the remittances flowing into the country.
An average Pakistani household is an optimist. This is a broad generalization and not often a great idea, but this is what a cursory look at the SBP Consumer Confidence Index surveys reveals. The consumer confidence-which measures households perceptions relative to six months in the past and in the future about personal financial conditions, the overall economy, unemployment and consumption of durable goods--stands at an all-time high.
The government is serious about conducting spectrum auction. However, one cannot say the same about its interest in overall telecom sector development. How is that so? Well, lets take a look at what has transpired since the government took over.
PML-N’s first budget (for FY14) contained a heavy dose of taxation proposals. It included an increase in the standard GST rate from 16 percent to 17 percent. A number of new withholding taxes were put into place along with the increases in advance tax and minimum tax. Significant measures have also been announced to widen the tax net and reduce tax evasion.