In Pakistan, land is a provincial issue with different regulations governing land acquisition in each province. Generally any foreign national who has received permission from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Federal) and the respective provincial government can acquire land according to his capacity. In addition, if a company is affiliated with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), a foreigner can own land.
- Upper Limit
In addition to media, banking, agriculture and airlines, the government imposes upper limits on investment.
- Lower Border
There is no ‘minimum’ amount set for investment in equity ownership in all permitted sectors.
- Strangers can get 100% foreign ownership in all sectors except the areas mentioned in the upper limit.
- According to the sixth clause of the Foreign Private Investment Act 1976, for advertising and investment protection and the procedural requirements defined by the Handbook of Changes of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) 2002, foreign investors retain the right to repatriate their funds, whether acquired profits or their dividends, in the original currency of the respective state from which the investment was made.
- Foreigners may appoint authorized banks or merchants to repatriate profits / investment income / dividends through an appropriate banking channel.
- Regarding portfolio investment, foreigners must open a Special Convertible Rupee Account (SCRA) in any local bank to extract their dividends and sales income. They can invest in all securities listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange.
- According to the regulations of the SBP and SECP, foreigners can access domestic borrowing according to the Debt Equity Report.
FDI field in Pakistan
Since the last decade, Pakistan has been receiving a healthy and consistent flow of foreign investment from Asia, America, Australia, Africa and Europe.
In July 2021, the SECP reported 1,949 incorporations of new companies, with a total amount of 147,842. In these registrations, the construction and real estate sector tops the list.
Finally, for the promotion of FDI, the government ensures optimal treatment to foreign investment. The Economic Reform Protection Act of 1992 and the Foreign Private Investment (Advertising and Protection) Act of 1976 provide “No Less Favorable” treatment to foreign investors compared to the National Investors in similar circumstances. With growing trends in investing as SECP assimilates more and more companies, now is the perfect time to invest in Pakistani real estate.