In its latest Business Confidence Index Survey (BCI) – Wave 24, the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) unveiled a promising upswing in Pakistan’s business confidence. The survey, spanning from October to November 2023, showcases a substantial seven percent improvement compared to the preceding wave in March-April 2023, said a news release. The survey paints a nuanced picture of business sentiments, with the overall business confidence in Pakistan standing at negative 18 percent, marking a positive shift from the negative 25 percent recorded earlier. The largest increase was recorded in the manufacturing sector at negative 10 percent followed by the services sector. President OICCI Amir Paracha attributed the improvement in business confidence to “relatively stable macroeconomic indicators, favourable changes in the political and economic landscape which were also supported by some stability in FX rates and a record performance at Pakistan Stock Exchange. Key parameters contributing to the positive trend include Capital Investment and the outlook for Pakistan’s business situation in the next six months.” OICCI’s BCI, a comprehensive survey conducted periodically across nine cities, gathered feedback from frontline business stakeholders. The survey encompasses regional, national, sectorial, and business entity levels, with business stakeholders representing almost 80 percent of the GDP. Notably, the Wave 24 sample included 43 percent of respondents from the manufacturing sector, 34 percent from the services sector, and 23 percent from the retail/wholesale trade. The BCI of randomly selected OICCI members, representing foreign investors, stood at a positive three percent, a significant improvement from the negative 19 percent in the previous wave. OICCI members’ confidence surpasses that of non-members, which has been a trend for a long period. OICCI CE/Secretary-General M Abdul Aleem said, “While challenges persist, the overall trend indicates a resilient business community anticipating improvements in the coming months. Foreign investors, as represented by OICCI members, have expressed hope that the authorities will soon take control of anomalies, including undue price controls, and streamline the taxation regime, which collectively is reflected in a particularly positive outlook, contributing to the overall upward trajectory in business confidence.” Exploring the future business outlook in Wave 24, new orders remain in negative territory, but the confidence index for expansion plans improved by two percent, indicating a decreased wariness among businesses. Expectations for a decrease in employment opportunities improved by two percent, suggesting a more positive outlook for the business environment. Capital investment plans showed a significant improvement of 22 percent, contributing to the overall positive trend in business confidence.