Peace in Afghanistan to unlock business bonanza for Pakistan in Central Asia – Dr. Arif Alvi

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Islamabad (DNA) : Dr. Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan said that Pakistan wanted peace and stability in Afghanistan that would unlock business bonanza for Pakistan in Central Asian States and the business community should gear up to capitalize on these emerging opportunities. He said this while addressing as chief guest the 4th ICCI Business Excellence Awards Ceremony 2021 held at Aiwn-e-Sadr, Islamabad. He conferred awards on the awardees and congratulated them for their excellent achievements in various fields of business. He said that the business community was driving the economic growth of the country and the government was making all possible efforts to promote ease of doing business for them.

Dr. Arif Alvi appreciated the business community for providing crucial support to the needy people during Covid-19 pandemic and added that their good role should be highlighted in the media. He urged them to focus on brand Pakistan and mentor women in entrepreneurship for their economic empowerment. He said that ICCI was a responsible chamber rendering great services for the business community and it should set up a helpdesk for women and differently abled persons to facilitate them in trainings and availing loans from banks. He said that Pakistan has great potential to promote the exports of Halal meat and IT products and emphasized that the business community should exploit these potentials. He also touched upon the tourism potential and importance of inclusive growth. He said that the government with better policies has set the economy in the right direction and was confident that no one could stop Pakistan from emerging as a great nation.

In his welcome address, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the purpose of organizing ICCI 4th Business Excellence Awards Ceremony 2021 was to acknowledge and highlight the achievements of companies and individuals who have achieved excellence in various fields of business and made significant contribution towards the economic growth of the country. He lauded the government for reducing import duties on the tourism sector that has the potential to generate USD 30-40 billion revenue and emphasized that the government should also relax import duties on industrial technology and machinery to upgrade the industries for producing value added products to boost exports. He said that ICCI could generate funds for an industrial estate and the government should cooperate in acquiring land for it through Sec-42. He said an expo center in Islamabad should also be established to promote trade and exports of this region. He said that the self-assessment scheme could make a 25-30 percent increase in tax revenue and stressed that the government should give more focus to this scheme to reduce trust deficit in taxpayers.

Mian Akram Farid, Chairman ICCI Founder Group said that the federal capital was emerging as a city of entrepreneurs as 23 markets and 1200 industries were operating in Islamabad and were playing an important role in the economic development of the country.  He emphasized that the government should set up direct air links with potential markets that were important to promote Pakistan’s trade and exports. He said that the government should work with banks to increase credit facilities for SMEs, which are the backbone of the economy. He highlighted the importance of SEZ and industrial estate in Islamabad and urged that the government should cooperate with ICCI in realizing these vital projects. He also offered useful proposals to further promote the tourism & agriculture sectors to improve the economy.