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LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday termed the notable shrink to the trade deficit a good omen for the economy.

“As reported, the trade deficit for the first four months of the fiscal year 2023-24 has shown a remarkable reduction of 34.70%, with the deficit standing at $ 7.416 billion, compared to $ 11.356 billion during the same period last fiscal year,” LCCI President Kashif Anwar and Vice President Adnan Khalid Butt said in a statement and added that it would give a good message to the world as it is one of the metrics of measuring the economic growth of any country,” President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kashif Anwar said.

They said that this positive development bears substantial implications for Pakistan’s economic landscape. The LCCI recognizes that the narrowing trade deficit will contribute to the economic growth and stability of the country in several ways.

The LCCI office-bearers also suggested that the concerned government quarters should join heads with the private sector for finding out a methodology for increasing the exports of the country that is a prerequisite to keep the trade deficit at lower side.

They said that to enhance exports, the government would have to bring down the cost of doing business by rationalizing the gas and electricity tariff.

They said that the power generation through hydel resources is the only way to produce cheap electricity as the thermal resources are costly.

He said that the recent floods across the country have caused over $30 billion to the economy that could be averted if the country has sufficient water reservoirs and dams.

Kashif Anwar said that a reduced trade deficit eases pressure on the Pakistani rupee, leading to increased stability and confidence in the local currency.

The LCCI office-bearers said that the improvement in trade balance is a vital component of Pakistan’s overall balance of payments. It enhances the nation’s capacity to meet its international financial obligations.

They said that the narrowing trade deficit reflects a healthier trade environment, which, in turn, fosters economic development. A favorable trade balance can drive investments, create job opportunities, and stimulate economic growth.

“The LCCI believes that this achievement is a testament to the resilience and competence of Pakistan’s business community, as well as the effective economic policies implemented by the government. We encourage all stakeholders to sustain this momentum by further enhancing trade competitiveness and exploring new avenues for import substitution and export diversification,” they added.

Kashif Anwar predicted that the lowering trade deficit would inject energy to the Pak rupee which is need of the hour.

The LCCI office-bearers said that this accomplishment underscores the potential for a brighter and more prosperous future for Pakistan’s economy. The LCCI remains committed to supporting initiatives that promote trade, investment, and economic stability in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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