Pakistan, located in South Asia, is bordered by India to the east, China to the northeast, Afghanistan to the north and west, Iran to the southwest, and the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman to the south. The northern and western highlands of Pakistan contain the towering Karakoram and Pamir mountain ranges, which include some of the World’s highest peaks: K2 (8,611 metres) and Nanga Parbat (8,126 metres). The Baluchistan Plateau lies to the west; the Thar Desert and expanse of alluvial plains, the Punjab, and Sindh lie to the east. The 1,000 mile long (1,609 km) Indus River and its tributaries flow through the country from the Kashmir region to the Arabian Sea. Pakistan is divided into 113 districts, with Islamabad as its capital. The official languages of Pakistan are Urdu and English, and the currency is the Pakistani rupee (PKR).
In 1947, British India was divided into two independent countries, namely India and Pakistan. Since independence, the two countries have had some unresolved disputes, in particular the dispute over the territory of Kashmir. Although the dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, discussions and confidence-building measures have helped the two countries to begin working through their issues.
Pakistan executed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an agreement with China in 2013 that will bring in investments of 46 billion United States dollars (USD) for construction of 3,000 km of roads joining Kasghar, China with Gawadar Port in Pakistan, developing 1,200 km of new rail lines, upgradation of 3,100 of rail lines, development of 21 new power generation projects, development of 40 industrial parks and economic zones, laying gas pipelines, and many more development projects. Most of the work is in progress. The 18 feet deep sea port, on completion, will have 120 berths, and 300 to 400 tonnes of cargo is expected to be processed annually. This will add 15% to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country, generating five million jobs and impacting the lives of 30 million people.
The Pakistani rupee remained stable for a considerable period; however, it has recently started to decline. Pakistan's current account continued to strengthen, and foreign exchange reserves stabilised largely because of the significant remittances from workers abroad, realisation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Stand-By Arrangement, and a decline in international petroleum prices.
Textiles account for most of Pakistan's export earnings, but Pakistan's failure to expand a viable export base for other manufacturers has left the country exposed to shifts in world demand. However, Generalised System of Preferences (GPS) Plus status granted by the European Union (EU) improved the situation. The floods in 2010, considered to be the worst natural disaster in living human memory, affecting 20 million people, affected the agriculture economy, and continuous war against terror has severally affected the economy and general public life; however, the resilience of the people has overcome the crisis. Other long-term challenges include reducing the fiscal and current account deficits, expanding investment, enhancing electricity production, reducing dependence on foreign donors, and improving governance through an improved political system.
PwC Pakistan employs more than 1,800 professionals offering assurance, tax, and advisory services at multiple locations. Our tax professionals have a strong reputation in developing new ideas and solutions that have helped clients to improve their efficiencies and offer better services. PwC understands the underlying industry and business issues that our clients face, which helps us to customise solutions for their specific needs. In Pakistan, our tax services include direct tax, transfer pricing, and indirect tax. In addition, the Afghanistan business is also being handled through the Islamabad office.