Is Pakistan the new India?
According to an annual report, titled “Doing Business,” put out by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in late 2007, Pakistan is perceived as a better place for doing business in South East Asia than India in many respects. In fact, Pakistan ranked 76 among 178 economies worldwide, while India held the 120th spot. However, after the assassination in Pakistan of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in late December, Pakistan has no chance of outpacing India as a prime spot for foreign investment anytime in the near future. The country’s economy (which is in shambles now) endured nearly $2 billion in losses in just two days of violence following her murder, according to government estimates.
According to a January article on Forbes.com:
“Until recent months, Pakistan had been an increasingly popular destination for foreign investment, partly because military ruler President Pervez Musharraf introduced liberal economic policies after he came to power in a 1999 coup.
The economy has grown at an average annual rate of 7.0 percent since 2002. The Karachi stock exchange has shot up almost 900 percent this decade.
But the killing of Bhutto, a former prime minister, has left an economic void since she was seen as the only opposition leader with genuine national appeal and strong foreign backing.”