ISLAMABAD, DEC 2: Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said that Pakistan is facing an economic meltdown as exports and foreign reserves of the country are on the decline and stressed that the government should provide maximum support to the private sector in order to boost the exports for reviving the economy. He said that during the first five months (July to November) of the ongoing fiscal year, exports have reduced to US$11.93 billion as compared to US$12.36 billion in the corresponding period of last year, which is not a good omen for the country.
He said that if this trend of falling exports continues, the government would find it difficult to achieve the export target this fiscal year. He stressed that the government should look into the reasons that have caused decline in exports and take urgent measures to address them to improve exports. He said this while addressing a dinner reception hosted by Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Ali, Chairman, Pak-China Business Forum in collaboration with Traders Welfare Association, I-8 Markaz Islamabad in honor of ICCI Office Bearers.
Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari said that China’s annual imports are over US$ 2 trillion, but Pakistan’s exports to China are less than US$ 3 billion, which are negligible as compared to the actual potential of the Chinese market. He said that the government should fully cooperate with the exporters in enhancing exports to China that would help in improving the health of the economy. He assured that ICCI would like to work with PCBF to enhance bilateral trade between Pakistan and China that would be beneficial for both countries.
Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Ali, Chairman, Pakistan China Business Forum (PCBF) said that their Forum is working to promote business linkages between Chinese and Pakistani companies to enhance trade, joint ventures and investment between the two countries. He said that PCBF would bring more Chinese companies to Pakistan for JVs and investment in special economic zones of Pakistan being set up in CPEC.
Ex-Senator Lt. Gen. (Retd) Abdul Qayyum Khan said that the government should make business and economic policies in consultation with chambers of commerce and business community that would produce fruitful results for the economy. He said that the sitting President ICCI should be made a member of CDA Board to represent the voice of the business community in CDA affairs.
Engr. Azhar ul Islam Zafar Vice President ICCI, Sheikh Ejaz Co-Chairman Pak-China Business Forum, Khalid Iqbal Malik Group Leader, Khalid Javed, Zafar Bakhtawari, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, Muhammad Shakeel Munir, Ajmal Baloch, Fayyaz Gul President, Zahid Qureshi Secretary General, Traders Welfare Association I-8 Markaz, Asad Aziz President, Abdul Rehman Siddiqui Secretary General of Traders Welfare Association Jinnah Super Market, ICCI Executive Members and a large number of business community attended the dinner reception.