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LAHORE: The United Business Group (UBG) of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday unanimously reposed confidence in Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with regard to his efforts to steer the country out of economic problems.

Talking to a delegation of traders led by UBG President Zubair Tufail, the group’s central chairman, Shahzad Ali Malik, said it’s a good omen that the prime minister is taking elected leaders of the business community from all sectors into confidence prior to formulation of the country’s monetary and trade policies in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the UBG’s top leadership, including its patron-in-chief S.M. Munir, founder chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik, secretary general Zafar Bakhtawari, information secretary Dr Mirza Ikhtiar and other members of the core committee, had decided in principle to support the prime minister and extend a helping hand to him in bringing gradually structural reforms mainly aimed at strengthening the economy.

Shahzad Malik said the private sector is the backbone of the economy and its engine of growth, as it creates jobs, increases trade, provides goods and services to the poor, and also generates tax revenue.

He said the government plays a central role in supporting economic growth and reducing poverty by ensuring result-oriented and sustainable policies.

He was of the opinion that a majority of constraints to economic growth identified by the private sector were directly linked to government decisions which he added needed to be addressed on top priority to accelerate economic activities in the country.

He said a stable democratic process is a key factor for a sound economy.

The prime minister, he said, attached great importance to the private sector and that all-out and sincere efforts were being made to provide a business-friendly environment to gear up trade activities.

He said the private sector provided around 90 percent of the employment opportunities, including formal and informal jobs, funded 60 percent of all investment, and provided 80 percent of government revenue.

Shahzad Malik said the private sector will continue to play its role in boosting exports and to speed up industrialisation for prosperity of the down-trodden segments of society.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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