Diplomats express confidence in Pakistan economy, CPEC projects

Amanullah Khan

Karachi—The diplomats and trade representatives of different countries in Karachi have expressed their confidence on the economic potential of Pakistan and agreed that implementation of CPEC projects of energy, infrastructure, Gwadar Port will be truly instrumental in the economic development in time to come. They said our Government and Federation put more efforts to change the perception of Pakistan abroad.
They suggested FPCCI to hold regular meetings on such vital economic issues These reassuring comments were made by the Consul Generals and Trade Representatives of Switzerland, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Russian Federation, Afghanistan, Iran, Japan, France and various other countries at an interactive session organized by FPCCI Standing Committee on diplomatic affairs under the Chairmanship of Mirza Ishtiaq Baig at the Federatin House, Karachi. The aim of the session was to discuss the Vision 2025 in the context of CPEC project of Pakistan.
The meeting was attended by the Consul Generals and Trade Representatives of Switzerland, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Russian Federation, Afghanistan, Iran, Japan, France and various other countries. While welcoming the foreign diplomats, Shaikh Khalid Tawab, Sr. Vice President FPCCI briefly enlightened the role and activities of FPCCI in the national economy and International FORAS like ECO-CCI, Saarc-CCI, CACCI, Islamic Chamber, D-8 Chamber, GSP Desk, CSR and Business Council etc. He emphasized on the expansion of bilateral trade with the other countries and indicated that trade is an engine of economic growth and without trade, economic connectivity and regional integration is not possible. He also suggested regular holding of events like exhibition, trade fairs and formulation of delegations for exploring the bilateral relation. While explaining the India Pakistan relations, he stated that Pakistan is a peaceful country having no intention of aggression with any country.
However, recently the war like situation has been unnecessarily developed by India on Pak-India border and gave threat to Pakistan for breaking Indus water treaty. He added that war is not the solution of any problem and the issues and disputes should be resolved amicably through negotiations. Regarding CPEC, he stated that this corridor is a mega project that will connect the Kashgar with Gwadar and will benefit the whole region in term of bringing prosperity and development.
S. M. Muneer, Chief Executive, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) briefly explained about the trade and investment opportunities of Pakistan. He highlighted the role and activities of TDAP in the development of economic relations between countries. He said that the law and order situation has improved in the wake of Zarb-e-Azb and Karachi operation.
Chairman of FPCCI Standing Committee on Diplomatic Affairs Mirza Ishtiaq Baig stated about the economic, social, security and governance challenges faced by Pakistan. While quoting the statistics, he indicated that during the last many years, Pakistan’s GDP income has grown at less than 3 to 4 per cent per year, while other countries, e.g., Bangladesh, China, India, South Korea and Sri Lanka, are growing at rates between 6 & 9 per cent per year. He also explained about the Vision 2025 given by the current government for restoring the tradition of perspective planning in Pakistan. He further informed about the aims, objective and goals of this vision and recommended the increase in GDP growth from current level to nine percent, exports from $25 billion to $150 billion, FDI from $600 million to over $15 billion and tax to GDP ratio from 9.8 per cent to 18 per cent.
He further suggested improving in ranking of ease of doing business, reduction in poverty and improving the health and education facilities in Pakistan. During the meeting, Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig Member FPCCI Committee on CPEC explained the importance of CPEC for the revival and growth of economy. He stated that this project will revive the historical trade route (silk route) and provide transit to the landlocked Central Asian countries from Pakistan in term of shortest route and low cost of trade. He further explained about the components of CPEC like infrastructural project, energy sector projects, industrial projects, telecommunication projects etc.
He indicated that the successful implementation of these projects will be a game-changer for the people of Pakistan in terms of new economic opportunities leading to higher incomes and significant improvements in the living standards. The investment on the corridor will transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub and will attract investment not only from China but other parts of the world as well, he added. Ms. Fozia Tariq, SVP of the committee extended vote of thanks prominent those attended. Zubair Tufail, Hanif Gohar, Arshad Farooq, Senator Haseeb, Sami Khan, Gulzar Firoz, Malik Khuda Buksh, Mehtab Chawla, Shakil Dhingra and a large number of business leaders and women entrepreneurs.

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