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LAHORE: The retail sector in Pakistan is organizing rapidly through value-addition, contributing a large chunk of the total $58 billion retail and wholesale trade, which amounts to 18% of the total GDP and employs over 14% of the national workforce.

The retail trade is the spearhead of the domestic economy, where every product produced for the local population is purchased by the consumers.

These views were expressed by Chainstore Association of Pakistan (CAP) Chairman Tariq Mehboob Rana, while giving a presentation to media, regarding Second Edition of the International Pakistan Future Retail Summit and Expo FOR2022, organized by the CAP in collaboration with Swyft Logistics and Terrabiz, in Lahore on 13th of December 2022.

Tariq Mehboob Rana said that all is set for this Retail Summit and Expo, where a number of world-leading speakers have confirmed to participate in this historical event. He said that the event will bring together representatives of leading retail and chain stores, logistics providers, banks and financial services, shopping malls, e-commerce platforms, and policymakers to discuss the changing dynamics of consumer behavior and the state of consumer sales in Pakistan. This is the second event of the series; the first was held earlier this year in Karachi, he added.

CAP Chairman said that the FOR2022 summit would open many new avenues for retail trade in Pakistan. “Many business leaders and renowned experts from leading brands and allied businesses will share their professional experience and wisdom at the confluence of innovation, technology, and human capital,” he said.

He said that the collective innovation of the entire retail ecosystem is the need of the hour, especially considering that the sector is increasingly digitalized, professionalized, and formalized.

In the current economic environment, smuggling, poor tax culture, and an uneven regulatory playing field are robbing documented businesses of their competitiveness and are hurting the national exchequer as well.

Despite this, through initiatives such as this conference, retailers and all industry stakeholders must share and adopt innovative solutions to survive, and eventually thrive, for the betterment of the domestic economy of our nation.

He said another key challenge is the banking landscape in Pakistan, which appear to have largely neglected this backbone sector of the economy due to various regulatory and commercial factors. “There is a dire need to provide broad access to easy financing and end-to-end digital payment solutions, for which the sector is encouraged by the rise of fintech businesses.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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