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Legal 500 Doing Business in Pakistan

Contributed by MR LEGAL INN

Pakistan is a growth-focused market with high potential for economic progress. Until today, Pakistan maintains a geostrategic position on the world map with a rich trajectory of natural resources backed up by talented human capital of over 190 million people. Pakistan continues to drive attention of many foreign investors to reap from its potential.

The present regime has witnessed some terrific indicators of growth including the recent highlights of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with $46bn investments laying emphasis on energy, transport and infrastructure projects. This has overwhelmingly helped shaping the course for a rapid progress in all sectors of its economy.

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A major recent development in the Pakistan political landscape was the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif following allegations of corruption and the election of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as interim prime minister in August 2017. The impact this political upheaval will have on the legal market remains to be seen.

The controversial Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, which was passed by Pakistan’s National Assembly in April 2016 and approved by the senate in July 2016, remains a source of contention and continues to receive criticism for its draconian stance on human rights and free speech. The landmark Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Bill, which aims to provide more comprehensive protection for women, was passed in February 2016.

Due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor agreement (2016), Pakistan’s strong economic links to China continue to thrive, resulting in a significant increase in the number of energy, power and infrastructure projects in development across the country. A mood of cautious optimism surrounds the power projects’ potential to reduce the country’s energy deficit, which continues to be an issue, and there is hope that such project development will encourage further investment from the US and European countries.

HaidermotaBNR, Mohsin Tayebaly & Co and RIAA Barker Gillette are among the most established and well-regarded firms in the legal field. LMA|Ebrahim Hosain is another dominant presence in the market. Karachi and Lahore continue to be Pakistan’s central hubs for law firms, with Islamabad and Peshawar also acting as bases for offices.

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