ISLAMABAD, Jan 31 (APP): Pakistan has been ranked second in the world in terms of business growth in a survey, conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). The current survey – which examined records of 9,371 Japanese firms operating across the world – put Pakistan just behind Taiwan in terms of business generated; leaving behind both India and Japan, media reports said. JETRO has been conducting such surveys since 2013. Pakistan’s data was generated from 27 Japanese firms doing business here. The results found that 74.1% of the Japanese companies estimated operating profit in 2013, allotting second rank to Pakistan only after Taiwan (81.8%).
Compared to this, 60.7% Japanese firms in China and 45.8% in India made operating profit in 2013.
If the survey is any guide, not only have a majority of the already present Japanese investors in Pakistan posed confidence in terms of guaranteeing business opportunities, they have also declared their intentions to expand their business here.
Kohat Tunnel and Indus Highway are two noteworthy projects being carried out with Japanese loan. Likewise, second biggest loan of $ 34 million has been given in four years by Japan for coping with the power crisis.
A mega $ 2 billion project of Karachi Circular Railway is also on the horizon soon and will be a big boost in Japanese interests in Pakistan.
“Media’s voice is louder than the findings of our survey,” said Naoyuki Maekawa, senior coordinator for South Asia in JETRO.
JETRO has been urging Japanese investors to benefit from the conducive business environment in Pakistan.
There are more than 20,000 Japanese companies in China and over 1000 in India. There is an increase of 100 Japanese companies in India every year, said JETRO official. Apparently, China is a hot destination for investors but many want to pull out due to various laws.
“It is easy to invest in China and difficult to pull out,” said Yoshiji Nogami, former foreign minister of Japan and currently President of Japan Institute of International Affairs.
While Pakistani laws are more favorable for foreign investors, nevertheless the country has so far been able to convince only 70 Japanese companies for investment, majority of them in manufacturing sector, automobile industry in particular.
Not only they noted growth in their existing business, 70.4% Japanese investors in Pakistan forecast further improvement in their business during 2014.
Business confidence exceeds 40 points in Cambodia, Myanmar and Pakistan, JETRO’s survey found explaining the feedback collected from Japanese investors already doing business in the respective countries.
This confidence has diminished in major countries like India and Indonesia, notes the survey report. Compared to 70.4% investors posed confidence on Pakistan, only 56.6% Japanese in India and 40% in China have expressed business confidence on the respective governments.
In terms of business expansion, 81.5% Japanese investors in Pakistan declared such intentions while responding to survey questions, compared to 78.3% in India and 54.2% in China.