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Government is making all-out efforts to revive national economy on sustainable basis, said Pakistan Institute of Trade And Development (PITAD) deputy director Fawad Hassan.

Fawad was addressing a study tour of newly recruited Trade & Investment Officers (TIO) during their visit to Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) on Monday.

He said it's for the first time that these officers have been recruited purely on merit while the designation of commercial consular has also been changed as Trade & Investment Officer as they have been entrusted additional responsibility to attract maximum FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). He said an evaluation system has also been devised in addition to direct spending most of their time in field instead of sitting in their offices.

He further told that TIOs have been trained to remain in touch with the Pakistan business community, consult real stakeholders on important issues and try their optimum best to resolve their genuine and practical problems. He told that it is high time to work together to drag out Pakistan from the economic quagmire.

Fawad told that Ministry of Commerce has arranged standards for import of poultry, meat and beef by different countries. These standards could be provided to Pakistani poultry farmers and cattle-breeders who intend to make export to these countries. He also told that Ministry will also bear expenditures of the first visit of the inspector from these countries who will examine the poultry and cattle farms in order to allow the export of meat to that particular country.

Earlier, FCCI president Rana Sikandar Azam in his welcome address said our future is common and private and public sector must join hands in order to revive the economy. Quoting the example of Bangladesh, he told that its business sector has performed well and its export has been doubled than Pakistan. Commenting on latest economic situation of Pakistan, he told that International Monitory Fund (IMF) has projected increase in inflation while World Bank has estimated increase it at 13 percent. Similarly the GDP is 3.3 percent which will further trim to 2.4 during next year. Moreover, our Current Account Balance (CAB) is -2.6 percent which will certainly foment unemployment which is expected to jump to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent. He told that FCCI is regularly arranging trade delegations to different countries and in this connection we need your expert opinion on fully exploiting the untapped potential of that country. He hoped the TIOs stationed in different countries would give them marketing intelligence in addition to providing details of important trade festivals. He further told that they should also assist Pakistani businessmen by computing credible and reliable data of genuine importers and exporters of that country in addition to arranging their B2B meetings.

Continuing, he said we must concentrate on import substitution. "Our TIOs must convince investors of exporting countries to setup their production units in Pakistan", he said and added that it will not only increase FDI but also cut down our existing imports. Similarly the foreign industrialist would also earn sizable dividend from their investment.

He further told that different countries who are exporting their products to Pakistan but their imports from Pakistan are nominal, they must be discouraged and import and export should be on reciprocal basis. In this connection government should consult real stakeholders to formulate its future business policies.

Regarding business conflicts, he told that FCCI was already resolving their issues; however, the Pakistani exporters are not properly attended in other countries.

He also pointed out countries without proper banking system and said that government must establish branches of Pakistani banks to save the Pakistan exporters from their hard earned foreign exchange.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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