ISLAMABAD: The reforms introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for ease of doing business and digitalisation are resulting in continued growth of entrepreneurship in the country. In the first three quarters of fiscal year (2020-21), SECP has incorporated 19,251 companies, representing an annual growth of 39 percent, compared to the same period last year. The SECP registered 14,493 companies in 2018-2019 and 16,945 companies in 2019-2020. The total number of registered companies with SECP has now reached to 139,620. Out of the total registered companies, 118,280 companies are active, which accounts for 85 percent of total companies which are filling their annual returns.
In March 2021, despite the challenges of Covid-19, the SECP has witnessed 72 percent growth in registration of new companies by registering 2,513 new companies, compared to same month last year. This is the highest number of companies ever registered in a single month. Around 99% companies were registered online and 25 percent of applicants completed the incorporated process the same day. This month, 260 foreign users were also registered from overseas.
Around 65 percent companies were registered as private limited companies, while around 31 percent were registered as single member companies and the remaining five percent were public unlisted companies, not for profit associations, trade organizations, foreign companies and limited liability partnerships. The construction & real estate sector took the lead with the incorporation of 414, trading with 393, IT with 311, services with 247, and food and beverages with 110.
Foreign investment has been reported in 43 new companies. These companies have foreign investors from Afghanistan, Australia, China, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Korea South, Mauritius, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, UK and the US.
The highest numbers of companies, i.e. 850 were registered in Islamabad, followed by 751 and 385 companies registered in Lahore and Karachi respectively. The CROs in Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Gilgit-Baltistan, Quetta and Sukkur registered 176, 170, 104, 43, 22 and 12 companies respectively.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021