Tamasin Dorosti of the JLD committee writes about a recent seminar she attended about the legal aspects of doing business in Pakistan.
I was fortunate to recently attend a Law Society seminar hosted by Latham & Watkins in conjunction with the British Pakistani Lawyers Association about the legal aspects of doing business in Pakistan. I was keen to attend the event following the recent release of the Law Society brochure entitled ‘Doing Legal Business in Pakistan’, and it was something I wanted to hear more about.
Shahid Jamil, a committee member from the British Pakistani Lawyers Association opened the briefing and Jonathan Smithers, president of the Law Society of England and Wales also welcomed us. The importance of Pakistan as a growing market with increased international presence was emphasised, and what became a clear message throughout the briefing was the significance of our historical relationship with Pakistan which we should be using to build ties and grow together.
British deputy high commissioner to Pakistan, John Tucknott, gave us an incredibly informative and insightful overview of the current political and economic climate in Pakistan. Which covered a range of topics including the political situation and the current federal system, employment, education, the economy, crime and corruption. The real message being that while Pakistan does have a lot of complexities, public debt and tax matters need to be urgently addressed.
The country does have the potential to become one of the world’s largest economies, and there is definitely scope for a very bright and positive future in Pakistan. Some statistics provided by the British deputy high commissioner evidence this nicely, with Pakistan’s economy being the 26th largest in the world in terms of purchasing parity, and with real GDP expected to grow between 4.3 and 4.6 per cent in 2015 and 2016.
The panel discussion which followed echoed the message given by the British deputy high commissioner, and started with the view that Pakistan is at a turning point and while it does face many challenges, these are not necessarily any different to those faced by emerging markets. The panel then discussed other legal aspects of doing business in Pakistan, and it was great to hear the different views and opinions of a very knowledgeable and experienced panel. What became very clear from this seminar was how much Pakistan is growing as an economy and it is definitely one to watch over the coming years.
The Law Society have a series of ‘Doing Business in’ brochures covering other jurisdictions for example Costa Rica which was released in June this year. These notes are extremely helpful if you cover international work and projects.