Working for a goal: Pakistan needs to become more competitive, says LCCI chief

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 3:35:52 by

LAHORE: The ongoing economic scenario calls for further strengthening of public and private sector relations. The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) aims to promote trade and investment in the country through enacting upon the policies of the government and securing a business friendly environment, according to LCCI President Ijaz Mumtaz.

This was stated while addressing a delegation of the National Security Workshop of the National Defence University, led by Major General Noel Khokhar, at the chambers on Tuesday.

The meeting discussed issues including trade with India, shortage of energy, public-private sectors relations, budget deficits and millennium development goals.

According to the chief, the primary objective of the LCCI is to protect the interest of the business community while remaining committed to the cause of development.

He said that there are a number of issues that must be tackled; the biggest one is how to keep the momentum of growth in the wake of a less-than-targeted growth of the agriculture and manufacturing sector. The second one is the widening gap between exports and imports that could be contained by reducing import of luxury items.

Mumtaz said that the cut in the prices of energy would make Pakistani products competitive in the international market where Pakistan is losing to China, India and even Bangladesh.

He stressed the need for developing regional, product-specific and target-oriented marketing strategies. New markets and products need to be explored to reduce the country’s dependence on few commodities. Concentration in few markets of limited items can also become a source for instability in export earnings.

While briefing the participants in policy making, Mumtaz said that the LCCI has more than 100 sector-specific standing committees. These committees collect private-sector feedback, analyse and filter the same through subject experts. Mumtaz added that LCCI has also established a Mediation Center in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC). He said that there are more than 40 accredited mediators registered with the LCCI who are helping the businessmen for out of country settlement of their business disputes.

Director General Institute for Strategic Studies head of delegation Major General Noel Khokhar urged LCCI to continue to play its role in a difficult time for the country.

He also called for the exploration of non-traditional markets to generate much-needed foreign exchange. He said that the economy has become the most modern warfare gadget of the present day world and only the economically strong countries will have a role in the global market in coming days. He concluded that a lot has yet to be done for the economic well-being of the country and its people.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2014.

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