Business Profile

ECONOMY : About half of the Pakistani labour force works in agriculture, where wheat, rice, sugar cane and cotton are the main products. Cotton is by far the countryís most important export, accounting for almost 60 per cent of revenues. Textiles and leather goods are significant export earners. Pakistan has some reserves of graphite and limestone, as well as gypsum, silica, coal, copper and manganese. It also has a small oil industry, but most of its needs must be imported: together with chemicals and machinery, this accounts for nearly three-quarters of Pakistanís import expenditure. Established manufacturing industries include textiles, food processing and building materials.

The overriding economic problem for the Pakistani economy is its huge foreign debt burden, which consumes over half of government revenue. Repeated efforts to renegotiate repayments have been undermined by a history of bad relations with the IMF, in particular, and the international financial community generally - largely a result of failure to meet previous targets - and, more recently, international sanctions imposed following Pakistani nuclear tests in 1998. This coincided with the fall-out from the 1997 financial crisis that engulfed the major economies of East Asia. Domestic political instability has prevented effective planning and hampered continuing economic reform. Both economic growth and inflation have declined slightly in recent years to their present levels of three and two per cent respectively; unemployment is a recorded eight per cent but there is a high level of underemployment amongst the workforce. Pakistanís main trading partners are the USA, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Hong Kong and the UK.


Business: Ties should be worn for important business appointments. English is commonly used. Appointments should be made, remembering that businesses are usually closed on Muslim holidays. Visiting cards should be used. Office hours : Mon - Thurs and Sat 0900-1700, Fri 0900-1230.

Commercial Information :
The following organisation can offer advice: Overseas Investorsí Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PO Box 4833, Talpur Road, Karachi or Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce (FPCCI), PO Box 13875, Federation House, Sharae Firdousi, Main Clifton, Karachi 75600, Pakistan.

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Information provided by Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

 

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