Pakistan - Country Commercial Guide
Market Challenges

Learn about barriers to market entry and local requirements, i.e. things to be aware of when entering the market for this country.

Last published date: 2019-10-13
Principal competitors of U.S. businesses in Pakistan are Chinese, European, Japanese, and South Korean suppliers which, at times, offer credit terms on major projects and government tenders that are difficult to compete with. 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). In 2015, Islamabad and Beijing formally agreed to Chinese financing through CPEC worth now more than $62 billion, targeting the energy ports & shipping sector and other infrastructure projects. 

Though American products are considered high quality and are in demand, U.S. goods are often more expensive than other imported products, and Pakistani companies find U.S. firms slow to respond to their business 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 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. U.S. firms willing to invest time to develop market presence may be rewarded in the long-term.