Lahore: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Wednesday vowed to work for economic uplift of the country. The decision was made at the meeting of LCCI Executive Committee presided over by the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz who was flanked by Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir and Vice Presided Syed Mehmood Ghaznavi.
The LCCI President said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry had already started spade work to this regard to identify the challenges being faced by the trade & industry.
He said that trade and Industry is the backbone of the economy as the government generates more than 90 per cent of its total resources from this sector therefore it can make a great contribution in turning Pakistan into one of the greatest nations in the world provided due
facilitation and an enabling business atmosphere are ensured.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that acute shortage of energy, lowest tax-to-GDP ratio, inflation, inefficiency of Public Sector Entities and corruption are the reasons of sharp economic decline.
He stressed the need for strengthening of institutional framework for being a prerequisite to economic stability, progress and prosperity. He said that only strong institutions could guarantee good governance but unfortunately never-ever in the past due attention was given towards strengthening of institutions. He said that weak institutions always weak system and no country can achieve its targets with a weak institutional framework.
LCCI President said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry acts as a bridge between the Government and the business community. It has always tried to ensure a business-friendly environment through sharing views with the government and by taking all the stakeholders on board on all the economy related issues. The primary objective of LCCI is to protect the interests of the business community while remaining committed to the cause of development of the country.
He said that there are a number of issues that must be tackled on priority the biggest one is how to keep the momentum of growth in the wake of a less than targeted growth of the Agriculture and the Manufacturing sector. The second one is the widening gap between exports and imports that could be contained by reducing import of luxury items.
He said that the frequent increases in the prices of energy are making Pakistani products uncompetitive in the international market and Pakistan is losing the international markets to China, India and even Bangladesh. Although the oil prices were linked to international prices of oil, the benefit of decline in oil prices has not been passed on to the consumers for quite a long time.
He stressed the need for developing regional, product specific and target oriented marketing strategy. New markets and new products need to be explored to reduce country’s dependence on few commodities and countries. Pakistan’s exports are highly concentrated in few items.
Such concentration in few markets can also become a source for instability in export earnings. He said that Trade Development Authority should be revamped and private sector representation should be there so that the exports could be increased.