Role of business community is crucial for economic uplift: Dastgeer
Role of business community is crucial for economic uplift of the country which is highest priority of the present regime. Government is focusing to provide best business atmosphere and joined hands with the private sector to improve trade & industry and exports.
This was stated by the Federal Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan while talking to the LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Former LCCI President Mian Anjum Nisar, former Vice President Aftab Ahmed Vohra and Executive Committee Members were also present on the occasion.
To a question about Pak-Afghan Transit Trade (PATT), the Federal Minister said that through land port authority and modern technology at Torkham & Chaman borders, trade would be regulated to stop informal trade.
Federal Commerce Minister said that government has opened all economic areas to achieve the goals of economic growth. He urged the private sector to become proactive to meet international standards & better marketing of products to compete effectively.
He said businessmen should identify hurdles in the way of value addition of products and share with government to address problems. He urged businessmen to explore the untapped markets of which offer good potential for improving trade and exports.
He assured that government would provide infrastructure and play the role of facilitator while entrepreneurs have to take the lead to improve trade & exports and the economy. He said that government is committed to overcome all economic challenges in cooperation with all stakeholders including businessmen and the civil society.
Khurram Dastgir Khan said that said role of entrepreneurs is crucial to improve trade, exports, tax revenue & jobs and government is focused on providing cheap and affordable electricity to business and industry. He said that work on a number of power projects is well under way and energy crisis would be solved after completion of these projects. He said that transparency is being ensured in all projects.
Speaking on the occasion the LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder said that macroeconomic indicators are showing consistent improvement. In contrast to that Pakistan's exports are continuously falling. He said that it is important to identify its reasons and rectify them to improve the export performance and ranking.
He said that in the list of countries by exports per capita, Pakistan is at 128th place. Sri Lanka and India that are at 102 and 110 places respectively. Trading Across Borders is one of the factor of Ease of Doing Business Index and under this head our ranking has gone further down to 169 as compared to 108 during previous year.
Almas Hyder said that the industry retains almost 22% in GDP composition of Pakistan economy but it contributes around 50% in tax revenue. It is tax overburdened and other sectors must share the burden. We have to target investors simultaneously from USA, Russia, Southeast Asia, Japan and China.
He said that the most recent trade figures show that there is 14% decline during July - Jan 2015 - 16 as compared to same period last year. He said that government must target further penetration into traditional markets and establishment of new connections to non-traditional markets.
The LCCI Senior Vice President said that our exports need to be realigned especially increasing its proportion in favour of engineering products. He said that engineering industry is almost 60% of global trade whereas these items hardly contribute less than 1% in Pakistan's exports. We have to come up with new plans for technology acquisition and put greater emphasis on indigenization.