Pakistan’s top foreign investors quitting – what’s the matter?

ENI has been one of the top on-shore and off-shore Energy player. The Italian company has had a 20 year history in Pakistan and has been at the forefront in creating jobs, exploration and production in energy deficient country.

Reasons to pack-up could vary from consolidating global operations after energy transition, poor commercial returns in Pakistan or regulatory red tape etc. The govt must, nonetheless, send a message to ENI, current investors and prospective investors to do “whatever it takes” and remain pro fair businesses for local and foreigners.

Engage highest level officials to convince ENI to stay, inquire the reasons of winding up, give time-bound decisive non-discriminatory assurances of better environment, engage on govt-to-govt level and put 200% in protecting jobs and capital structure. Apparently, it seems like a fire-sale.

Attracting foreign investors is difficult. Letting them go is easier. Retaining them is the toughest. The business environment should be competitive, conducive and win-win for government, investors, employees and society at large.

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