Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry urge government to consult private sector for finalising Trade Policy

Lahore, July 23, 2012 (PPI-OT): As the government is finalizing upcoming Trade Policy likely to be announced next month, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Monday urged the government to initiate consultation with the private sector that is the real stakeholder.

In a statement, the LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Shiekh, Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Meher and Vice President Saeeda Nazar hoped that the new Trade Policy would result in the enhancement of export competitiveness to enable Pakistan companies to overcome the shocks of international economic downturn.

The LCCI Office-bearers said that the government should realize that the country needs a paradigm shift to enable local businessmen to become globally competitive and export those products which are valued more in the international market.

They said that today the country’s industry is facing multiple challenges including an acute shortage of gas and electricity, poor innovation, low labour productivity, little Foreign Direct Investment and lack of product and geographical diversification.

They said that the electricity and gas shortage is the major factor therefore the government should focus on the issue that has not only jacked up the cost of doing business in the country but also fast making us uncompetitive.

The LCCI office-bearers said that heavy government borrowing is also coming in the way of industrialization in the country. “The unavailability of cheaper money to the business doing people is also a very serious issue and if remained unattended the unemployment graph would touch new highs.

“Businesses need short to medium term certainty in the interest rate
for investment but in Pakistan the situation is the other way round as despite repeated appeals to the government the interest rates are not only higher than in the region also very high when are compared to the developed world.”

They said that the government would have to tackle pressing supply side constraints including cost of capital on priority basis for enhancing competitiveness as Pakistani merchandise are fast losing their due place in the global market only because their high prices.

The LCCI Office-bearers also urged the government to focus on South America and African Union where competition is low and profit is high. They said that country’s exports can become an engine of growth and prosperity in Pakistan, if relevant institutions, both in public and private sectors implement a well tailored, well consulted and widely discussed strategy.

The LCCI office-bearers said that a little attention towards to identification of new markets for Pakistani merchandise could do a lot for the country and in the regard, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry is ready to play a proactive role.

The LCCI office-bearers also hoped that the government would protect local industry to the maximum while opening up trade with India.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854