Lahore: Business confidence in Pakistan has soared in 2015 as both the investments and revenues registered surge during this period.
It is revealed in the LCCI-LSE Business Confidence Report launched on Thursday here at the Lahore of Commerce & Industry. LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz, former Presidents Bashir A. Baksh, Mian Muzaffar Ali, Rector Lahore School of Economics Shahid Chaudhary, Dean of Economics Faculty Dr. Azam Chaudhary and LCCI Executive Committee Members were present on the occasion.
The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that one cannot find a solution to the problem until and unless correctly identified therefore, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry decided to conduct a detailed survey in collaboration with the Lahore School of Economics and prepared “LCCI-LSE Business Confidence Report” after months long exercise.
The LCCI-LSE Business Confidence Report says that “a significant number of firms in the manufacturing sector said that their export sales increase over the last year and they expected it to increase again in 2015. A majority of firms said that investment increased over the last year and the largest increase in investment in 2014 came in the manufacturing sector where around 70% of firms were able to increase their investment. Across all firms, the increase in investment in 2014 was not financed by bank borrowing but by the enhanced sales revenues. More than 60% firms in the manufacturing and services sectors plan to increase their investment in 2015. A significant majority of firms do not plan to utilize bank borrowing for financing their higher levels of investment in 2015. A significant proportion of manufacturing and service sector firms managed to increase their number of employees in 2014 and both these sectors seem optimistic about further increase in their employment level in 2015. These was significant optimism when firm were asked about their expectations about Pakistan’s Economy, with approximately 50% of the firms expecting the economy to do better in 2015. Access to finance was considered shortage of skilled labour to have a major impact on business and this proved to be a key issue for the manufacturing and services sectors.”
The Rector of the Lahore School of Economics Dr. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry and Dean of Economics Faculty Dr. Azam Chaudhary said that LSE would continue to provide support to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the economic issues. They said that the Lahore School of Economics would also conduct subject-specific workshops and seminars to equip the businessmen with latest working techniques.
The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that this report would make the LCCI members to know their issues and main hurdles in the expansion of businesses. He said that this report is a true picture of present economic challenges which are one way or other influencing the private sector.
He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has signed many MOUs with national and international organizations including Lahore School of Economics.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that collaboration between the two institutions would go a long way. It would not only strengthen the industry-academia linkage but would also help capacity building of the LCCI members.
He said that the economic challenges being faced by the country need tailor-made and workable solutions and this is only possible through strong academia and industry linkage.
He said that there is no dearth of resources in Pakistan but it is far behind in the economic race because we have failed to properly tap these resources.
He said that in the developed economies there is a strong linkage between the academia and industry and Pakistan today also needs to adopt that pattern to overcome its multiple issues.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz hoped that the Lahore School of Economics will continue to contribute to a great deal in closing the leadership gap through training to potential businessmen in areas relating to economy and international affairs.
He said that Pakistan could not make an impact at international level only because of lack of awareness about latest business methodologies. Had awareness been there for the business community, the situation would have been far better today.
Dr. Azam Chaudhry also briefed the house and answered the question raised by the participants.