An Empirical Analysis of Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan

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The aim of this paper is to explore the trends in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in Pakistan and to identify the key determinants of FDI for the period of 2000-2013. The country experienced a continuous surge in FDI inflows from 2000-2008. On the contrary, the phase of 2009-2013 has been characterized by a persistent decline in FDI in Pakistan. This slump is mainly attributed to political and economic instability as wells as poor law and order situation in the country. Keeping these periods with differing results in perspective, multiple regression analysis is employed to empirically analyze the key determinants that are expected to explain variation in FDI in Pakistan. The selected variables were found significant determinants of FDI in Pakistan. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), degree of trade openness and regime of dictatorship have a significant positive effect on FDI. While, terrorism attacks foreign debt, exchange rate, political instability, and domestic capital formation are negatively significant determinants of FDI inflows in Pakistan. Considering the dynamic changes in the broad macro factors in economy, this study provides a fresh perspective on the factors that determine FDI in Pakistan. Moreover, the study findings provide important insights to policy makers to design policy measures that enhance FDI inflows in Pakistan.

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