LAHORE: Leading foreign investors, who are members of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), have invested over Rs20 billion in socio-economic development activities in Pakistan over the previous year.
Providing details, OICCI President Irfan Wahab Khan revealed that the OICCI CSR Report 2018 highlighted the financial and non-financial contribution from the existing foreign investors. The contribution reached over 60 million direct beneficiaries throughout Pakistan with direct investment of Rs6 billion and 1.2 million of human hours, he said.
In addition to this, one of the OICCI members, Novartis Pharma (Pakistan) Limited, in coordination with its major overseas shareholders, invested $140 million (Rs15 billion) under the Novartis Access Programme to provide medicines for treating non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the low to lower-middle income groups.
In terms of specific social sectors, the OICCI president said, human capital development and health and nutrition remained the key areas of focus.
“Around 87% of the members were involved in the human capital development initiatives. Many of them have funded new school facilities and made contribution to the vocational training programmes for skills development among the youth,” he said.
Health and nutrition-related initiatives were supported by 85% of the OICCI members through donations to reputable hospitals, medical/blood/eye care camps and health awareness campaigns, he said, adding infrastructure development was another area of interest and 61% of the members assisted in the development of infrastructure in the vicinity of their respective major operating facilities.
“Over the last few years, there has been a noticeable enhancement in the sustainability and CSR initiatives of the OICCI members through proactive engagement between the business and all stakeholders in the society,” commented OICCI Secretary General Abdul Aleem.
OICCI members, Aleem said, engaged with over 160 social and development-sector organisations in some of the key social development initiatives of member companies. As in the past, the CSR activities were spread all over the country with 35% of these activities focused on Sindh, 28% on Punjab, 12% on Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 10% on Balochistan and 15% on tribal areas, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, he added.
During 2018, the OICCI members invested over $2.7 billion in Pakistan and accounted for roughly one-third of the tax collected in the country.
(This news/article originally appeared in The Express Tribune on January 15th, 2019)