Punjab Govt Exempts IT Sector From ‘Anti-Smog’ Lockdown Order

The Caretaker Government of Punjab has exempted the IT sector from its anti-smog smart lockdown order and included it in the category of essential services. The notification issued by the government states that e-commerce, international IT centers, ca…

The Caretaker Government of Punjab has exempted the IT sector from its anti-smog smart lockdown order and included it in the category of essential services. The notification issued by the government states that e-commerce, international IT centers, call centers, software houses, and telecom services will remain open.

According to the official order, the following are now exempted from closure:

Pharmacies/Medical Stores

Medical Facilities and Vaccination Centers

Petrol Pumps, Oil Depots

Tandoors, Bakeries, Grocery/Karyana stores, Milk/Dairy Shops, Sweet Shops, Vegetable/Fruit Shops

Chicken/Meat Shops

E-commerce/Postal/Courier Services and Utility Services (Electricity, Natural Gas, Internet, Cellular Networks/Telecom, international IT Centers, and call centers)

The rest of the orders shall remain applicable as such, it added.

Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and ITES (P@SHA) wrote a letter to the caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab, demanding an exemption to the IT sector from the decision to close offices and businesses as the province reels from intense smog.

Chairman P@SHA Muhammad Zohaib Khan said in the letter that a business shutdown would affect exports of information technology and software services.

He gave the following reasons why the provincial government’s order for “restricted movement” in the sector was harmful:

*Disruption to IT Exports*: The restricted movement in the primary hub of IT exports will halt operations, leading to failure in meeting international clients’ deadlines, which can result in substantial financial losses and contractual penalties.

*Damage to Brand Pakistan*: The interruption in services will tarnish the international image of Pakistan as a reliable IT service provider. This damage to reputation is long-lasting and far more challenging to repair.

*Customer Distrust*: Our global clients rely on our promise of continuity and reliability. An unforeseen shutdown of IT services will breed customer distrust and lead to clients seeking services from other countries, resulting in a loss of business in the short term and potentially a reduction in foreign IT investments in the long run.

The P@SHA executive urged the Punjab government to issue an immediate addendum to the notification, exempting IT exporters, call centers, and related businesses from this order. He recommended that IT companies be allowed to continue their operations under strict health safety protocols as they did during the pandemic.

Pursuant to P@SHA’s request, the provincial government has now revised its order.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Bank Alfalah Official Statement Clarifies Misconceptions on Ban on Donations

In reference to the leaked internal memo, Bank Alfalah has released an official statement.Bank Alfalah Limited has issued an official statement to clarify the “misunderstanding” created by an internal memo that has been circulating on social media. Th…

In reference to the leaked internal memo, Bank Alfalah has released an official statement.

Bank Alfalah Limited has issued an official statement to clarify the “misunderstanding” created by an internal memo that has been circulating on social media. The memo had given the impression that the bank had banned the collection of donations.

According to the statement, the impression created by the memo is “absolutely incorrect.” The bank has not instructed its branches to stop accepting donations. Instead, the operational accounts of embassies in Pakistan are restricted from receiving donations. Contributions should be directed to legally permissible donation accounts, the bank clarified.

Bank Alfalah Limited has reiterated its commitment to enabling donations from people in Pakistan in accordance with the law. The bank will direct contributions to appropriate and authorized accounts designated for the purpose of donations.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Stakeholders Request PM to Hire Professionals For Revival of Pakistan Steel Mills

The Pakistan Steel Mills Stakeholders Group has written a letter to the Caretaker Prime Minister, demanding the reconstitution of the board of Pakistan Steel Mills and the appointment of professional management.The group believes that appointing the s…

The Pakistan Steel Mills Stakeholders Group has written a letter to the Caretaker Prime Minister, demanding the reconstitution of the board of Pakistan Steel Mills and the appointment of professional management.

The group believes that appointing the steel mills management on merit will help revive the national asset.

The stakeholders’ group also opposed the appointment of the Pakistan Institute of Management as a consultant. Currently, the affairs of the steel mills are run by an illegal executive board, which is a matter of concern for the stakeholders. The board of directors is also in dispute till the FIA inquiry is completed.

The group opined that a Reconstituted Board of Directors and appointment of Management would be helpful in the provision of correct information pertaining to authentic financial accounts data, available usable inventories, condition of plant 20 complexes, requirement of human resources for “Revival of Mills” existing plant and its budgetary cost.

The letter demands the recruitment of new technical manpower and the withdrawal of illegal letters of retrenched employees. The stakeholders emphasized the restoration of the steel mills and the restoration of the confidence of the business community for investment.

They also demanded investigation and accountability against those who damaged the steel mills from 2005 to 2023. The stakeholders also demanded an inspection by the steel mill plant and machinery technicians.

Source: Pro Pakistani

You Can Get Schengen-Like Visa for UAE, Saudi Arabia and Other Arab Countries Soon

Tourists will soon be able to visit countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a unified Schengen-like visa.The scheme, which is expected to go live around 2024/2025 across six nations, was ma…

Tourists will soon be able to visit countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a unified Schengen-like visa.

The scheme, which is expected to go live around 2024/2025 across six nations, was made public by GCC Secretary General Jassim Al Budaiwi at the 40th meeting of GCC interior ministers in Oman, international media reported earlier today.

The Secretary-General praised the initiative, calling it a “new achievement” and an indication of the GCC leaders’ strong collaboration and sound directions.

Al Budaiwi said on the occasion, “The unified Gulf tourist visa is a project that will contribute to facilitating and streamlining the movement of residents and tourists between the six GCC countries and will, undoubtedly, have a positive [impact] on the economic and tourist sectors”.

The UAE Minister of Economy Abdullah bin Touq said the unified visa is a key component of the GCC 2030 tourism plan, which aims to enhance the sector’s economic contribution through more regional travel and higher hotel occupancy rates.

Notably, the new visa system is expected to increase the number of tourists to 128.7 million by 2030. This is an increase from 39.8 million last year, representing a 137 percent rise over 2021.

Industry experts opine that the new program will be a game changer for the GCC nexus. There is an untapped tourism market in the region, with many tourists deterred by visa complications that make travel a dismal affair.

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths told Abu Dhabi’s The National that the new tourism visa system will be a fantastic development for the region, making it more appealing to visitors and enterprises. He remarked that the more people are encouraged to visit the Middle East, the better the world’s impression of the region will be.

The single GCC tourist visa is part of GCC’s long-term goal to increase inter-city flights and hotel visitors throughout the Gulf bloc, hence increasing tourism’s contribution to GDP.

Pertinently, tourism is a significant contributor particularly to the UAE economy, accounting for 14 percent of its GDP.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Sarmayacar Unplugged: Rethinking Startups and Launching New Climate Fund

The year is 2016. 3G and 4G mobile internet services have just launched. Smartphone adoption and broadband internet usage are growing by the millions monthly, and by all accounts, a tech revolution is brewing in Pakistan.However, the country’s nascent…

The year is 2016. 3G and 4G mobile internet services have just launched. Smartphone adoption and broadband internet usage are growing by the millions monthly, and by all accounts, a tech revolution is brewing in Pakistan.

However, the country’s nascent start-up eco-system is still missing one crucial ingredient: Venture Capital. This is where Rabeel Waraich comes into the scene. A young Wall Street professional with experience in private equity and investment banking, Rabeel decides to ditch the suits and take the plunge, moving back to the Homeland to set up Sarmayacar, his very own VC fund.

Fast forward seven years, and Sarmayacar – which means ‘investor’ in Urdu – has established itself as the country’s premier venture capital firm. With successful funding across multiple verticals, Sarmayacar is now looking to the future, as it makes plans to launch a first-of-its-kind dedicated climate fund to support Agritech and Climate-tech startups, as the country navigates a multitude of climate-related challenges.

ProPakistani sat down with the Sarmayacar founder and CEO for a candid conversation about his journey, where the ecosystem stands as of now, and where he sees the future headed.

Risk, Capital, and The Road Less Travelled

An MIT graduate, Rabeel’s journey in global finance began much as any other, including roles at Morgan Stanley and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation. Yet, after a decade on Wall Street, Rabeel started to wonder “What next?” and turned his gaze homewards. It didn’t take long for him to identify the gap in the Pakistani investment space.

“Investment trends in Pakistan traditionally focused on real estate and stocks rather than people. Our goal (with Sarmayacar) was to seize this opportunity and promote the idea that investors can support capable individuals in creating thriving businesses essentially shaping a new asset class in the country,” he said, adding, “I applied the knowledge gained from my career to ensure we did it the right way”.

Of course, throughout this time, Rabeel remained fully cognizant of the risks he was taking; however, he felt that he would be better served by taking that ‘road less traveled’. After all, even if he were to return to his previous job in case of failure, he would be in a stronger position having gained the experience of trying to launch a VC fund from scratch. As we all know, he did not fail – and today, the Sarmayacar story is an inspiring narrative of passion, dedication, and belief in Pakistan’s entrepreneurial potential.

To date, the firm has raised US$ 85 million in disclosed joint funding for 21 deals across nine verticals, including Fintech, Super-Apps, E-Commerce, Healthtech, Agritech, and Logistics. Some of the Fund’s picks, like SimPaisa, Bykea, Abhi, Oladoc, and TruckSher, have proven to be trendsetters in their spectrum.

TruckSher was successfully acquired by MENA’s biggest logistics start-up Trukkr in 2021; while SimPaisa is generating more cashflow monthly than its entire valuation at the time of funding.

Rabeel also reveals that one of their biggest endeavors, Bykea, is expected to become profitable by December 2023, which he said had seemed unlikely from their burn rate a year and a half earlier. In 2023, Sarmayacar has also decided to bet again on successful TruckSher veteran Abid Butt for his new LTL solution, Truckistan Technologies.

Supply chain technology companies have come out to be unexpected survivors of the post-pandemic economic shock and are being seen as more resilient to withstand the ups and downs emerging markets like Pakistan are prone to. But more importantly, Truckistan’s proprietary technology for solving Less than Truck Load (LTL) is also unique in the market.

Time Teaches, But Being A VC Teaches More

Of course, as with all journeys, this one has had its ups and downs and there are lessons to be learned. Some of Sarmayacar’s portfolio companies, such as Jugnu, have had to pivot; while others struggle as a slowdown in the global economy leads to a squeeze on funding.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the Holy Trinity of E-Commerce, Fintech, and Logistics has continued to fare well, raking in the major chunk of venture capital. And rightly so. Consumption patterns have been moving to digital-first avenues for years, and with an e-commerce store comes the need for online payments; after that, you need to ship your product through a service that at least gives a nice tracking service.

That said, all three verticals still have a way to go in gaining consumer trust, and some of the challenges are beyond their control. While telecom connectivity and institutional support for start-ups and venture capital firms have come a long way, national-level structural issues remain.

Tax-to-GDP ratio, fiscal deficit, circular debt, tax heavens, smuggling, and an informal economy double the size of the formal one are just the tip of the iceberg. So what are Rabeel’s thoughts?

“Our approach has naturally evolved; in venture capital, it’s all about recognizing patterns. Initially, we drew inspiration from international trends, but we’ve come to understand that certain business models simply don’t fit within the context of our economy and demographics,” he said.

He clarified that Sarmayacar prefers using the term ‘business-model market fit’ instead of ‘product-market fit’ to describe a successful product or service. It goes beyond merely having demand, it also means having a sustainable business model that aligns with the local realities.

Regarding regulatory support, Rabeel mentions that the SBP and SECP have played a critical role in facilitating the establishment of holding companies, attracting capital, and introducing digital banking regulations and licenses. This is something that some countries, like Egypt, completely lack. However, there are still some other institutions that need to catch up with these advancements.

The Need For ‘Lean’ VCs?

For a while after Sarmayacar’s founding, it seemed like Pakistan’s startup scene had arrived. The COVID-19 pandemic saw even the most ‘Sethia’ businesses enter the digital realm; and with capital flowing at an all-time high, both salaries and startup valuations reached for the stars.

But after almost a decade of business-friendly dollars, which got a second wind courtesy of the Pandemic, it now seems the party is finally over. Pakistan’s quarterly startup funding ­­­– a metric that shows investor confidence in the long-term stability of the ecosystem – has dropped to historically low levels, and several startups have shut down, with more shutdowns likely in the coming months.

Rabeel’s view is that many business models that emerged in 2021 turned out to be unworkable in Pakistan. “We all learned these lessons the hard way,” he said, adding, “We’ve realized that there are more capital-efficient approaches to achieve the same goals. If a business depends on having ideal conditions to thrive and create value, it may not be a great business to begin with. The market is no longer about quick, short-term gains”.

Rabeel points out that startups don’t require large teams with high salaries when the same service can be delivered with just a quarter of the workforce. Additionally, businesses that are operationally intensive and require substantial capital are challenging to maintain.

In some other areas, like ride-hailing apps and edtech, breaking through is nearly impossible, especially with rationalized fuel prices and parental skepticism about the value of digital education for their time and money.

According to Rabeel, as these challenges thin out the competition, startups have the opportunity to gain a larger share of the market. This will serve as a valuable learning experience for the entire ecosystem, distinguishing between those who are genuinely building solid businesses and those who are not, separating the serious players from the less committed ones.

One look at all 21 startup funding deals that Sarmayacar has realized till 2023 so far, and you will see how a more targeted and niche approach in addressing problems is becoming more abundant than in previous years. E-commerce stores have a circular economy angle attached to them, while fintech startups are also geared around investing, taxes, and credit scoring, rather than traditional payment solutions.

In the current landscape, the market is no longer conducive to short-term gains; it demands a strategic approach. While occasional strokes of luck may come your way, relying on serendipity isn’t a sustainable investment strategy. It’s essential to build a robust investment thesis that withstands the test of time, avoiding the pitfalls of short-lived successes.

Climate Fund? It’s About Time!

A large part of clever investing is about knowing where and how to put one’s dollars to work. Enter the climate. Pakistan suffered more than US$30 billion in economic damages during the devastating 2022 floods; and still stands as the eighth-most vulnerable country to climate change, despite contributing less than one percent to global emissions. At the same time, we remain largely dependent upon traditional fossil fuels and the road to a clean energy transition stays long and arduous.

As an agribusiness journalist, I have long wondered when Pakistani VCs will get serious about all this. The number of founders and startups working towards a sustainable future is in the dozens, but the capital for support is not just there. It was with great relief then that I heard Rabeel outline Sarmayacar’s plans for an upcoming climate fund.

“We are partnering with the Green Climate Fund, the world’s largest climate fund,” he said, adding, “We are shifting our focus beyond tech ventures to explore new opportunities and invest in ways that make a real impact on the environment”.

Rabeel mentions that Sarmayacar has developed a new climate strategy for Pakistan; and while that might sound challenging, they want to take action now to create real value before everyone catches on, making it tougher and more competitive to find the right opportunities.

“We are convinced that, given the urgent necessity for climate action in Pakistan, we can effectively channel both funding and expertise towards promoting climate initiatives. These opportunities are the only ones that transcend economic cycles on a global scale,” said Rabeel.

When discussing the verticals they plan to pursue, he said that Sarmayacar’s strategy is to align with Pakistan’s National Adaptation Plan. Key areas of focus include clean energy generation and transition, infrastructure, and water conservation, while also exploring specific areas with a greater emphasis on mitigation, acknowledging that adaptation often requires behavioral changes.

“My biggest concern with Pakistan’s ecosystem is that many individuals, including myself, are hesitant to share because we are apprehensive about what others might do with our ideas. This issue also extends to those covering this asset class in the industry. Due to the scarcity of information, people attempt to piece things together, and when done inaccurately, some individuals criticize publications and start attaching labels.,” he said.

Highlighting the difference between Silicon Valley and Pakistan, Rabeel mentions that when founders meet in Silicon Valley, they openly discuss their challenges, successes, and failures. In contrast, in Pakistan, if one founder spots another in a coffee shop, they might opt to move elsewhere, fearing the other person might overhear their conversation; an approach that stifles learning. That said, Rabeel believes that with time, this too will improve. Ultimately, we all share the responsibility for making that change happen.

Source: Pro Pakistani

New Zealand’s Convincing Win Almost Puts Pakistan Out of World Cup 2023

New Zealand’s convincing win over Sri Lanka has all but confirmed their qualification into the semi-finals of the World Cup 2023, almost finishing hopes of Pakistan and Afghanistan to finish at the coveted 4th spot.The Men in Green will need to beat E…

New Zealand’s convincing win over Sri Lanka has all but confirmed their qualification into the semi-finals of the World Cup 2023, almost finishing hopes of Pakistan and Afghanistan to finish at the coveted 4th spot.

The Men in Green will need to beat England by a huge margin of they are to overtake New Zealand whole Afghanistan will need even a bigger victory over South Africa to overtake both Pakistan and New Zealand.

Kiwis were on song from the start as they dismissed the Sri Lanka batter cheaply. A defiant half-century by Kusal Perera kept the scoreboard ticking by the too eventually went back to the pavilion soon after.

Maheesh Theekshana and Dilshan Madushanka put up a fight as they struck around to take Sri Lanka to 171. But it wasn’t to be enough as New Zealand chased it down in 23.2 overs.

Pakistan will now need to beat England by a margin of around 274 runs to take them past the Kiwis, an improbable task at hand which is realistically impossible to overcome.

Kiwis are set to face India in the semi-final which is set to be played at Wankhede on 15 November.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and Afghanistan will travel back to their respective countries after playing their final encounter in the World Cup 2023.

Source: Pro Pakistani

High Level Military and Bureaucracy Meeting Discusses Under Invoicing Issue

A top-level meeting between senior military officials and civil bureaucracy was held on Thursday to review reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and national strategy to deal with the menace of under-invoicing.Official sources told ProPakistan…

A top-level meeting between senior military officials and civil bureaucracy was held on Thursday to review reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and national strategy to deal with the menace of under-invoicing.

Official sources told ProPakistani that the meeting was attended by caretaker Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, FBR Chairman Amjad Zubair Tiwana and Governor State Bank of Pakistan Jameel Ahmed, Secretary Ministry of Finance Imdad Ullah Bosal and some other senior government officials.

Top government officials visited the army house in Rawalpindi to have a meeting with the senior military officials, the sources added.

The meeting reviewed major tax reforms and restructuring of the FBR besides measures to tackle the menace of under-invoicing.

The FBR officials informed that there is a discrepancy worth $7.51 billion in imports and exports statistics with four major trading partners. It was reported that Pakistani traders have allegedly been found involved in the under-invoicing of imported goods of over $7.51 billion to four major trading partners namely: China, Singapore, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

There is a gap of $3-4 billion in trade volume with China and the FBR is working to acquire real-time data from China. The official said that similar trade gaps exist in other countries as well.

The Customs Department including the Customs Intelligence Department has already launched a massive crackdown against warehouses storing smuggled goods, secret illegal storages, and pumping stores of petroleum products.

The government has decided to provide support to law enforcement agencies, specifically the Customs Intelligence Department, for taking action against smugglers.

The action would not focus on small tankers/vehicles carrying petroleum products, but information-based raids on warehouses and secret illegal storages and pumping stores of petroleum products.

Source: Pro Pakistani

IMF Wants to Tax Pakistan’s Agriculture, Real Estate and Retail Sectors

Negotiations on the first review of Pakistan’s $3 billion Standby Arrangement have turned up the heat as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the imposition of taxes on the retail, real estate, and agricultural sectors, Federal Bureau o…

Negotiations on the first review of Pakistan’s $3 billion Standby Arrangement have turned up the heat as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the imposition of taxes on the retail, real estate, and agricultural sectors, Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) sources told ProPakistani.

Technical-level talks between Pakistan and the IMF are ongoing and many critical avenues for bridging financing needs have been identified.

The IMF has particularly suggested stricter enforcement of real estate tax. Also, in case of a shortfall in tax revenue, a fixed tax may be imposed on retailers during the ongoing financial year. The lender has recommended that the tax regulator may exercise its powers to levy tax on retailers after December, FBR sources added.

It was briefed that consultation with provinces is mandatory for imposing taxes on the agricultural sector. Meanwhile, FBR has submitted a report to the IMF on potential revenue by the end of the current financial year. The lender’s mission will respond to the revenue report in two days, sources added.

Notably, the IMF was also briefed on the Tax Policy and Management Task Force under the purview of the tax regulator.

Talks with the IMF commenced late last week with both sides sharing critical data for fast-tracking the ongoing review. If the lender is satisfied with Pakistan’s performance during the review, a second tranche of $700 million is expected to be disbursed.

The successful outcome of the review will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the country’s economic stability and its ability to secure continued financial support from the crisis lender.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Pakistan is Extremely Vulnerable to Balance of Payment Crises, India Resilient: Moody’s

Pakistan is the most vulnerable to balance of payment (BOP) crises among the South Asian sovereigns, says Moody’s Investors Services (Moody’s).The rating agency in its latest report ‘Sovereigns – South Asia Low trade openness fuels vulnerability to sh…

Pakistan is the most vulnerable to balance of payment (BOP) crises among the South Asian sovereigns, says Moody’s Investors Services (Moody’s).

The rating agency in its latest report ‘Sovereigns – South Asia Low trade openness fuels vulnerability to shocks and curbs growth in the longer run’ stated that Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the most vulnerable among the four sovereigns.

“Both have experienced significant BOP pressures because of very low exports and FDI, combined with much weaker policy management and higher political risk. India is the least vulnerable because of its larger and more diversified export sector, as well as better macroeconomic policy management which has allowed it to accumulate and maintain adequate foreign exchange reserves,” said Moody’s.

“Their low trade openness and weakly diversified export baskets, combined with weak macroeconomic policy management and higher political risks, have contributed to low foreign exchange reserves to buffer against shocks. India is least vulnerable, reflecting its larger and more diversified export sector, as well as better macroeconomic policy management which supports it having adequate foreign exchange reserves,” it added.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have much weaker infrastructure compared with India, contributing to high costs of trade. Within South Asia, Pakistan and Bangladesh have the lowest level of exports at 10.5% and 12.9% of GDP, respectively, said the credit rating agency.

Sri Lanka and India, which have more developed services export sectors, have exports of 21.5% and 22.4% of GDP, respectively.

By country, Pakistan’s export potential is about six times its current exports, while Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka have export potential of about two to three times its current exports.

These factors, combined with very weak fiscal policy effectiveness in both Pakistan and Sri Lanka, drive their bigger macroeconomic imbalances that exacerbate their inability to adjust to external shocks.

Both countries run persistent current account deficits, driven by low saving rates amid persistently large government fiscal deficits, it added.

Moody’s said that the domestic political risks are also very high, which disrupt policymaking and weigh on their ability to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) to build and maintain adequate reserves. Low FDI, in turn, contributes to their limited participation in global value chains. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have net inflows of FDI amounting to an average of 0.6% and 1.0% of GDP from 2013-22.

In 2022-23, Pakistan’s and Sri Lanka’s credit profiles deteriorated significantly. A global commodity price shock coincided with expansionary fiscal policies which led to strong import demand.

At the same time, global financial conditions tightened. The combination of these factors drove a rapid widening of their current account deficits and large drawdowns of their foreign exchange reserves.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to a cycle low of $2.6 billion at the end of May 2023, sufficient to cover less than one month of imports, although reserves have since picked up to $7.5 billion as of October 2023.

Sri Lanka’s reserves dropped to $1.9 billion in December 2022 from $2.7 billion a year earlier. Bangladesh’s credit profile also weakened, although to a smaller extent, as it had more reserves compared with Pakistan and Sri Lanka to absorb the global energy price shock that hit in early 2022.

World Bank research found that Pakistan’s cascading tariffs are among the steepest in the world, which incentivizes export substitution. South Asian sovereigns also have a high prevalence of non-tariff trade barriers, such as labeling requirements and administrative fees, which further encourage export substitution.

In comparison, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are further back in many areas, including political stability, governance, trade infrastructure and policies, and labor quality. Their much weaker attributes will impede their ability to credibly develop and diversify the export sectors, it said.

In addition, all three countries face macroeconomic imbalances to varying degrees, which would further constrain the capacity to invest in infrastructure and education needed to support the development of the external sector, Moody’s added.

Source: Pro Pakistani