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Economic uplift top priority of govt: Sanjrani

LAHORE:Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani has said the business community is the most important pillar of economy and its role is crucial for economic uplift of the country which is the highest priority of the present government. He added that the government was focusing on the best environment for businesses and joined hands with the private sector to improve trade, industry and exports. He expressed these views in an exclusive meeting with Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Irfan Iqbsl Sheikh, according to a LCCI spokesman here Saturday.

The purpose of the meeting with the chairman Senate was policy advocacy for the business community, he mentioned. The Senate chairman said the government had opened all economic areas to achieve goals of economic growth, and urged the private sector to become proactive to meet international standards and better marketing of products to compete effectively. Sanjrani said businessmen should identify hurdles in the way of value addition of products and share with the government to address problems and advised the businessmen to explore untapped markets which offered good potential for improving trade and exports. He assured that the government would play the role of a facilitator while entrepreneurs had to take the lead to improve trade and exports and the economy.

He said that the government was committed to overcome economic challenges in cooperation with all stakeholders, including businessmen and the civil society. Sadiq Sanjrani was of the view that role of entrepreneurs was decisive to improve trade, exports, tax revenue and jobs, asserting that trade and parliamentary delegation could play a fundamental role in promotion of exports, trade and investment. He assured full support of parliament to the LCCI president for its endeavors aimed at economic stability of the country. LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh informed the chairman that the Lahore Chamber had declared 2020 as the year of exports promotion. Though macroeconomic indicators were showing consistent improvement, exports of the country were not up to the mark, he said and added, “Our exports need to be re-aligned especially increasing its proportion to the new potential markets with a multi-dimensional strategy.”

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said: “Pakistan is bestowed with sufficient human resource comprising a large number of young, professional and highly trained manpower. We should export human force after proper training that will at least double the foreign remittances to Pakistan.” He said that Pakistan could compete with regional countries but the government must ensure level-playing field, including compatible duty structures, subsidies, input costs and non-tariff barriers etc. Despite Pakistan was a natural hub for halal food industry but its share was negligible in the global Halal Food industry worth US $ three trillion, he said and asserted that Pakistan could only obtain marginal value of exports because our airlines do not have enough capacity to transport the perishable goods.