FCCI has lost its worth due to incompetent leadership
FAISALABAD: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Chief Executive SM Muneer has said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) sit-ins in Islamabad inflicted heavy losses on the country’s economy and the TDAP had to postpone Expo Pakistan scheduled for October 22.
Addressing a gathering of business community in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) auditorium, he said that the business community has shown unmatched commitment to the country and nation by paying their taxes despite political uncertainty and dwindling exports.
He said that as many as 1,100 foreign buyers from 65 countries were expected to attend the Expo Pakistan, but they had to postpone the event on the request of foreign envoys.
Underlining the importance of regional trade, he said that the TDAP organised lifestyle exhibition in Mumbai which was proved a total success. He said, “Despite being cold-shouldered by the Indian government the event attracted a big crowd and encouraged us to organise more six-single country exhibitions. Out of these one will be organized in India, another in UK and one in Saudi Arabia.”
He asked the exporters of Faisalabad to take part in these exhibitions for the promotion of their exports. He also talked his recent meeting with the first secretary of Vietnam and said that this country with a population of 9 million has exports to the tune of $150 billion whereas Pakistan with a population of 200 million people was earning only 25 billion US dollars from its exports.
He said, “We must take pragmatic steps to exploit our export potential with a commitment to the nation and country.”
He criticised energy crisis and delay in refund of claims to the exporters.
He said, “Our Rs 19 billion from EDF are lying with the Ministry of Finance. We have requested several times for the release of this amount that will enable us to support exporters to overcome their liquidity problems.”
He endorsed the FCCI demand regarding establishment of an expo centre in Faisalabad and asked the chamber to submit a formal request so that it could be processed as soon as possible.
He also said the board meetings of EDF and TDAP were scheduled to be held during next year, adding, “We will try our best to give due representation to FCCI in these committees.”
He praised the FCCI for organising trade delegations and said that he would try to compensate them by extending necessary subsidy or financial support.
He said further the TDAP has already organised a seminar on GSP-Plus in Karachi and another moot would be held in Faisalabad to benefit local exporters.
Regarding FPCCI, SM Muneer said that this organisation has lost its worth due to the incompetent leadership.
“We will try our best to revive its dynamism by electing honest and competent office bearers through a democratic process,” he added.
He said, “95 percent business community is with us and we will Insha Allah make a clean sweep in the upcoming elections of FCCI.”
Muneer also said that a meeting of the FCCI managing committee was scheduled to be held on 10 October. The TDAP chief executive urged business community to take part in the meeting so that an effective election commission could be formed to conduct the FCCI elections in a free and fair manner.
Earlier, leading industrialist Mian Muhammad Idrees, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik and FCCI President Engineer Rizwan Ashraf also addressed the function.
In his welcome address, Rizwan Ashraf talked about problems faced by the business community.
He also dwelt on the issues related to export diversification, regional trade, foreign direct investment, sustained economic policies, refund claims, expo centre, FCCI representation in various boards, committees and trade delegations; signing of PTA and FTA, single- country exhibition, economic diplomacy, awareness seminar of GSP Plus.
The FCCI president said, “Export potential of textile sector is $26 billion but we are still dwindling at $13 billion.”
He also mentioned the figures of the Statistical Bureau of Pakistan and said that export of raw cotton has increased by 40 percent whereas the export of value-added textile products has declined alarmingly due to energy crisis and other problems.
He said that India immediately increased subsidy to its textile sector after the European Union granted GSP Plus status to Pakistan. “Contrary to this strategy, electricity tariff is being increased repeatedly in Pakistan making our exportable surplus uncompetitive,” he lamented.