The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has released foreign direct investment (FDI) data for February 2020 and eight months of the current financial year 2019-20. It showed that the country received US$2.24bn against US$2.36bn in the corresponding July-February period of the last fiscal year of 2018-19.
In February 2020 FDI inflows amounted to US$332.5m compared to US$179.1m in the corresponding month a year earlier.
However, in July-February, net FDI amounted to US$1.85bn, up 75 per cent from US$1.06bn in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.
China transferred the highest FDI of US$779.9m in the period under review, compared with US$870.7m in the corresponding period a year earlier. Norway followed with inflows of US$318m, Hong Kong (US$113m), UAE (US$107m) and UK (US$131m).
However, the increasing FDI trend is yet to reflect in the country’s construction and cement industries, which still lag behind other industries.
Pakistan’s cement and construction sectors recorded a drop in net FDI of 88.9 per cent to US$36.4m in the 8MFY19-20, compared to US$327.4m in the corresponding period of last year. Of this total, the cement industry attracted an investment of US$25.8m and the construction sector US$10.6m, compared to US$32.4m and US$295m, respectively in year-ago period. This represents a decline of 20.4 per cent and 96.4 per cent in the cement and construction sectors, respectively. In February 2020 alone, both sectors attracted a total net FDI of only US$4m.