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Editorial

Overview

Pakistan's budget deficit has climbed steadily over the last five years and led to a balance-of-payments crisis. Islamabad is now looking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $6bn dollar bailout to assist with its debts.

July 2018 saw Imran Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf party win Pakistan's general election. Prime Minister Khan campaigned on a reformist agenda, blaming the nation's economic crisis on alleged corruption in government and in October he announced that new legislation will be introduced to reward whistleblowers who assist in the arrest of corrupt politicians.

The draft law follows the introduction of Pakistan's new Companies Act in Pakistan, which came into effect on 31 May 2017, designed to improve corporate governance. The new law has kept lawyers in the country busy as it also introduced significant changes to the court procedures to facilitate a more timely resolution of corporate disputes.

Khan's new government has also pledged to create an 'Islamic welfare state' by building 5 million homes for the nation's poorest citizens. The initiative has led to offers of investment from major regional construction companies and the promise of an increase in work for real estate and construction practitioners.

Despite the financial crisis that has engulfed the country, Pakistan has seen a significant increase in the number of key energy, power and infrastructure projects of late. This is partly due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor agreement (2016), part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.

There is cautious optimism that the sustained investment in power projects will potentially reduce Pakistan’s energy deficit and generate investment from major multinationals in the US and Europe.

HaidermotaBNR, Mohsin Tayebaly & Co, LMA|Ebrahim Hosain and RIAA BARKER GILLETTE are among the most established and well-regarded firms in the local legal market.

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