LCCI, KPCCI to work jointly for promotion of regional trade

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The Lahore and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) would work jointly for the promotion of regional trade that is a prerequisite to economic revival. The decision was made at a meeting between LCCI and KPCCI here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday. The LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar and KPCCI President Dr Mohammad Yousaf Sarwar also agreed to take joint stand on all national issues being faced by the economy while the LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, former Presidents Iftikhar Ali Malik, Mian Muzaffar Ali, KPCCI SVP Malik Iftikhar Ahmad Awan and KPCCI Vice President Muhammad Anees Ashraf were also present on the occasion.

Ongoing Energy Crisis, Cumbersome Taxation Procedures, deteriorating Law and Order Situation, Water Scarcity, Smuggling, Trade Ordinance and Export Development Fund (EDF) were discussed in detail during the over two-hour long meeting. Both the Chambers also inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to share sector-specific research with each other and to develop joint mechanism for preparation of budget and taxation-related proposals.

The Lahore Chamber would facilitate the KPCCI on trade with India while Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Chamber would give necessary guidelines on trade with Afghanistan. While severely criticising the government's failure to maintain law and order in some parts of the country, both the chambers called for stringent measures as it has spoiled the investment scenario.

Speaking on the occasion, the President KPCCI Dr Mohammad Yousaf Sarwar invited the LCCI Executive Committee for Joint Ventures in Agriculture, Livestock and Mineral and Mines sectors as Khyber Pakhtunkhawa has a very huge potential in these sectors. He said that Peshawar is a gateway to Central Asian States and Afghanistan and any investment made in that part of the country is bound to get a good response therefore the businessmen from Punjab should avail this opportunity. He agreed with the LCCI President that the smuggling is causing a huge loss to the trade and industry and the government would have to rationalise rate of Sales Tax on all smuggling prone items.

Farooq Iftikhar said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has very recently established an International Mediation Centre in collaboration with International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private arm of the World Bank. He said that collective efforts are needed to overcome multiple challenges that have pushed the country to the wall. He said that all institutions, including Pakistan Railways, PIA and Pakistan Steel are generating loss instead of playing their role for the economic well-being of the country.

He said that fast declining foreign exchange reserves and widening rupee-dollar parity are hitting businesses hard and there is a dire need for a methodology to give guidelines to the government. He also urged the KPCCI Executive Committee to get necessary funding from the Export Development Fund for the establishment of private sector-run business support organisation as huge funding is available with the EDF.

The LCCI President also gave a detailed briefing to the delegation on Lahore Chamber's stance on Trade with India. He said that the LCCI wants protection to the local industry and early removal of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) by India. Earlier, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar inked MoU on behalf of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry while KPCCI President Dr Muhammad Yousaf Sarwar represented Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

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