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LAHORE: Diplomats are backbone of the global economy as they play a crucial role in the promotion of trade and economic activities between the countries.

These views were expressed by the LCCI President Kashif Anwar while addressing a delegation of the participants of 28th Junior Diplomatic Course for Foreign Diplomats, belonging to 12 countries of three continents, on Thursday visited the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Foreign diplomats asked a number of questions from the LCCI President Kashif Anwar who gave well directed and knowledge-based answers ranging from economic scenario in Pakistan and role of business community in progress and prosperity to external trade and investment opportunities in various sectors.

The delegation was headed by Director Programme, Foreign Service Academy Irfan Shaukat while LCCI Vice President Adnan Khalid Butt also spoke on the occasion. LCCI Executive Committee Members were also present on the occasion.

The LCCI President said that Pakistan is looking to expand its external trade through exploring lucrative and untapped potential markets. He informed the participants that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has established an African Desk with an objective to strengthen trade and economic relations with African continent.

He said that the liaison between the countries is very important and the trade missions can play a pivotal role in this regard. He said that exchange of trade delegation and participants in the trade fairs & exhibitions are also the important tools to expand trade.

Kashif Anwar added that the LCCI member companies have trade relations with the companies in all parts of the world. The Lahore Chamber disseminates the trade and investment related information to its members so that they can avail the opportunities.

He said that being the premier business support organization of the country, LCCI accords great importance to the role of Foreign Diplomats in projecting a positive image of Pakistan and facilitating trade, investment and economic cooperation.

He informed the participants that the glorious history of the Lahore Chamber dates back to 1923 when it was established under the name of Northern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Today, it stands out as the premier business support organization of the country having the largest membership base with around 32,000 members representing a cross section of trade and industry.

The LCCI President added that the primary function of LCCI is policy advocacy. Through its Research and Development Department, the Chamber identifies the issues and their viable solutions with the input of standing committees focused on the various sectors. These issues are taken up at the highest forums of Government for their early resolution.

He said that LCCI facilitates the business community by keeping them aware of the opportunities and challenges originating from the globalization of trade and investment. LCCI prepares Budget Proposals and sends them to government for consideration so that tax anomalies could be rectified and private sector representatives may be encouraged to take new business initiatives. LCCI gives feedback to the Government on various public policies e.g. Industrial policy, Investment Policy, SME Policy and Trade Policy etc. LCCI also organizes Seminars, Workshops and Conferences for capacity building of its members.

He said that LCCI also sends trade delegations to various countries for exploring business opportunities and also participation in the international exhibitions. This provides a good opportunity of interaction for mutually beneficial activities.

Kashif Anwar said that LCCI has signed lots of MOUs with national and international organizations related to trade and other important fields like health care, banking, education, diplomatic affairs etc.

He said that apart from pursuing its main objective of promoting and protecting the interests of trade and industry, LCCI carries out Corporate Social Responsibility quite actively. Such activities include donations to hospitals and educational institutes and participating in relief activities as and when needed. Let me share with you a recent example of it. LCCI donated around 38 million rupees and also sent trucks of daily use items to ease the hardships of flood affectees.

Moreover, an NGO called the Lahore Business Association for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (LABARD) is working under the patronage of LCCI to facilitate the rehabilitation and recruitment of the physically disabled individuals.

Meanwhile, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dr Hassan Murad School of Management. LCCI President Kashif Anwar and Dean of Hassan Murad School of Management Prof Dr Naveed Yadzani inked the MoU on behalf of their organizations.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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