LAHORE: Federal Commerce Secretary Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera has said businessmen should tale advantages of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
He expressed these view at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) while unveiling plaques at the camber along with LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President and the LCCI executive committee members.
The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has added a new chapter to its history by inaugurating four Facilitation Centers in a single day for its members. Now LCCI has become only Chamber of the country which has launched one window operation that is a composition of Facilitation Centers of various government departments and LCCI services for its members.
Federal Commerce Secretary and LCCI office-bearers termed the newly inaugurated centers another feather in the cap of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
In his address, Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera said that government is committed to make “Digital Pakistan” with less human interaction as technological assistance is the only solution to various problems. He said that digital Pakistan Program is initiated with a vast vision. For that purpose two major things are ensured: one is E-commerce expansion to revolutionize the businesses.
He said that Pakistan is one of the few countries of the world which are adopting e-commerce. We are also working on International Payment Gateway.
Second one is recognition of importance of Social Media and to utilize it as a key tool for digitalization. He said that ministry of commerce has engaged all its attached organization and commercial counselors around the world on twitter and other social media handles to address the queries and issues. and they all responds there within hours. He said that we have to access the untapped potential of African countries.
He said that Information is a power and if we don’t have research Data or information about one’s market, we can’t get advantages. He said that we should get advantages of China Pak FTA. LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that facilitations Centers of Traffic Police, NADRA, Excise & Taxation, SMEDA, FBR, LESCO, and PESSI are already functional at while new addition would lead the services for LCCI members to the peak.
He said that Pakistan is facing stiff economic challenges including devaluation, exorbitant hike in Policy rate, mounting Inflation, fiscal deficit and shrinking of GDP. In this scenario, exports hold paramount importance for Pakistan’s economy as they are the main source of revenue generation, employment creation and maintaining balance of payments stability.
“As Pakistan aims to become a competitive economy in the region and grow above 7%, it is imperative for us to enhance our export revenues to deal with multi-dimensional economic challenges that have confronted our nation”, the LCCI President added.
Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that there is a need of collective actions for exploring new export markets as about 55% of the Pakistan’s exports go to just 10 countries. We have to take concrete steps to fetch better export revenues from untapped potential markets like Africa, Russia, South America and Central Asia.
He said that realizing the importance of Africa as a potential market, we have established an Africa Desk at LCCI for facilitating our members and addressing the complexities involved in enhancing exports to Africa. Furthermore, we are taking three export oriented business delegations to Africa in coming months. We plan to visit Ghana & Nigeria in March, Algeria & Morocco in April, and Egypt & Sudan in June this year.