Principal competitors to U.S. businesses in Pakistan include Chinese, European, Japanese, and South Korean firms. U.S. businesses sometimes face difficulties competing against these firms for government tenders given their access to state-backed financing. State-owned Chinese firms are increasingly expanding into market segments traditionally dominated by Western firms. To boost development, Pakistan and China are implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which entails more $62 billion for energy, ports, transportation, infrastructure, and other sectoral projects.
Though American products are recognized for their high quality and are in demand, U.S. goods are often more expensive than other imports and Pakistani companies have cited that some U.S. firms can be slow to respond to inquiries. Some U.S. firms choose to ship goods to Pakistan from regional offices.
Potential investors in Pakistan face many of the same challenges that exist in other developing economies such as regulatory risk, taxation, and a lack of transparency in public-sector decision-making. Pakistan is a diverse and challenging market, requiring adaptability and persistence. It is often difficult to sell in this market without a reliable local partner, thus choosing the right local partners and careful planning are critical to success.