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Iftikhar Vohra seeks EU’s assistance in improving infrastructure

Iftikhar Vohra seeks EU’s assistance in improving infrastructure

KARACHI: President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, has asked the European Union countries to assist Pakistan in improving its infrastructure so that a business environment could be provided to Pakistani exporters who are keen to raise their exports to EU, particularly after the grant of GSP Plus status.

He said that in the current scenario, shortage of gas, power and water have crippled production activities across the country. Availability of gas, power and water is imperative for the enhancement of exports in the light of GSP Plus.

“Pakistan may not succeed in fully benefiting the EU’s GSP Plus if Pakistani exporters continue to suffer problems pertaining to infrastructure and energy crisis”, KCCI president said, while speaking as chief guest at a training session on “EU GSP Plus scheme – Market Entry procedures to the EU” organised on Monday by International Trade Centre in association with the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD).

Jogi Oshiai Expert from International Trade Centre, Ms. Josephine Koopman from CBI Netherlands, Muhammad Owais Khan, Program Officer of International Trade Centre, Ms. Anjum Assad Amin, Director General PITAD, Mohammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, Senior Vice President KCCI, and KCCI Managing Committee members also attended the training session.

 

President KCCI urged the Pakistani government to effectively deal with the menace of terrorism and rising insecurity which hamper Pakistan exports to various destinations including the European Union, besides raising poverty and unemployment in the country. “The government must devise a strict strategy to provide a secure business environment to business community, particularly the exporters who have the potential to fetch the valuable foreign exchange for the country by enhancing their exports”, Iftikhar Vohra said.

 

Emphasizing the need to focus on value-addition which was the only way forward towards raising Pakistan’s exports to European Union, Iftikhar Vohra pointed out that despite being the 4th largest producer of cotton in the world; the country has not been able to convert its local produce into value-added products. He said that Pakistan fetches only $1.29 billion per million bales through value-addition whereas its nearest competitor India gets $1.79 billion, Bangladesh $6.6 billion and Korea gets more than $10 billion.

 

Speaking on the occasion, DG PITAD Ms. Anjum Assad Amin pointed out that the major beneficiaries of EU’s GSP Plus scheme were textiles and garments sectors whereas leather and leather articles, footwear, plastics, ethanol, fresh and processed fruits etc. also have the potential to take advantage of the duty free access and record healthy growth levels.

 

Program Officer of International Trade Centre, Muhammad Owais Khan, while highlighting the purpose of training session on EU GSP Plus scheme, said that this training session would certainly help Pakistani exporters better understand and benefit from GSP plus scheme. Similar training sessions will also be held in other cities including Lahore, Sialkot and Faisalabad, he added.

President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra delivering his speech as Chief Guest at a training session on “EU GSP plus scheme – Market Entry procedures to the EU” organized on Monday by International Trade Centre in association with KCCI and Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD).

Jogi Oshiai Expert from ITC, Ms. Josephine Koopman from CBI Netherlands, Ms. Anjum Assad Amin, Director General PITAD, Muhammad Owais Khan, Program Officer ITC, and Secretary General KCCI, S.M. H. Rizvi are also seen in the picture.