The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) registered 20,324 new companies in 2020, indicating an increase of 24 percent from 16,456 companies in 2019.
Despite the severe downturn of businesses due to COVID-19 around the world, Pakistan has witnessed the growth of corporate by 24 percent in 2020. According to the data compiled by the SECP, the simplification of the registration process was one of the key factors that accelerated the growth in the registration of companies.
The SECP reduced the number of procedures for business start-ups, reduction in overall turnaround time for regulatory approvals and introduced cost-cutting measures for starting a business, especially for small and medium enterprises.
SECP’s reform process in starting a business is bearing fruits in improving Pakistan’s position on the World Bank (WB) Ease of Doing Business Index which jumped by 28 points from 136 to 108.
As per the commission’s statements, organizations speedily enabled online facilities to maintain the workflows amid the COVID-19 lockdown that has resulted in an increasing trend of using online services. According to SECP, at least 98.66 percent of companies have been registered online in 2020.
Whereas, foreign companies bore the adverse impact of COVID-19 and are evident in registration as only 24 foreign companies have been registered in 2020 while 38 registered in 2019. The foreign companies were from the US, UK, France, Germany, China, Japan, Australia, Middle East countries, and Far Eastern Countries.
The government relief package of Rs 30 billion for the construction sector also had a positive impact as there was a 32 percent growth in registration of new companies in the construction and real estate sector to 3,383 in 2020.
While the tourism sector also bore negative impacts due to Covid-19 pandemic as only 677 tourism companies were registered compared to 1,027 in 2019.