In Pakistan, the number of companies grew by 23 per cent in 2020, with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) registering 20,324 new companies in 2020, as compared to 16,456 companies registered in 2019.

One of the reasons for an increase is simplification of the registration process.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has reduced the number of procedures for starting a business, reduced the total time required to obtain regulatory approvals, and introduced measures to reduce the cost of starting a business, especially for small and medium-sized companies.

During the periods of Covid-19 and lockdowns, SECP allowed online facilities to continue operations leading to a growing trend in online service use. As per a statement from SECP, in 2020, 98% of businesses were registered online. However, only 24 foreign companies were registered in 2020 as compared to 38 in 2019.

Foreign companies that came to Pakistan in 2020 belong to the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, China, Japan, Australia, the countries of the Middle and Far East.

SECP data reflects that the Rs 30 billion government aid package for the construction sector also had a positive impact, as the number of new company registrations in the construction sector rose 32 percent.

The SECP has registered a total of 3,383 new companies in the construction/real estate sector, 677 tourism companies,

Pakistan has improved its ranking in World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report. Moreover, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has undertaken a series of reforms to further simplify company registration procedures. Resultantly, the company can be registered in one day in the SECP and FBR.

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