President FPCCI shows great concerns over unpredictable economic situation

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ISLAMABAD, DEC 13: /DNA/ – Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry said that all the economic indicators have turned negative and the current unpredictable economic situation is creating great concerns in the business community. He said that he has never seen such an uncertain situation in his 45 years of his business life and stressed that the government should take business leaders on board to steer the economy out of troubles. He said that importers are paying US$ 120 per container per day as demurrage charges due to LCs issue and stressed that SBP should address this issue on an urgent basis. He said this while addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that Pakistan is doing exports with only 10-12 countries and it should tap new markets to increase exports. He said that Pakistan should focus on engineering products for exports as their share in the global market is 19% while the share of textile products is only 6%. He said that FPCCI will hold a conference on the charter of economy and a conference on exports in January 2023 to develop proposals for improving the economy and exports. He stressed that the business community should develop strong unity to influence the government for making business friendly policies and assured that FPCCI would continue to play a role to resolve the issues of the business community and improve the economy.

Speaking at the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said that LCs of the business community are not opening due to which production activities are badly suffering and if this situation continues, many industries would face closure. He said that consignments of imports including soybean are stuck up at ports as banks are not retiring LCs due to which the poultry industry would face a crisis and stressed that FPCCI should take up this issue with the government for early solution. He said that the forex reserves have tumbled down to USD 6.7 billion, which is creating panic in the market. He said that despite significant depreciation of the rupee, exports have shown a declining trend and the trade deficit is still high. He stressed that the government should bring down policy interest rate to single digit level to facilitate the growth of investment and businesses. He urged that the government should cooperate with the private sector in boosting exports to China, Africa, Central Asia and ASEAN countries to improve forex reserves.

Faad Waheed Senior Vice President, Engr. Azhar ul Islam Vice President ICCI, Khalid Iqbal Malik Group Leader ICCI, Aminullah Baig, Umar Masood ur Rehman and Qazi Akbar, Vice Presidents FPCCI, Mirza Abdul Rehman Chairman Coordination FPCCI, Muhammad Riaz Khattak Senior Vice President Pakistan Business Forum, Sajjad Anwar President Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders & Small Industries, Asad Mashadi former President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Zafar Bakhtawari, Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi, Mian Shaukat Masud, Sheikh Abdul Razzak, Khalid Chaudhry and ICCI Executive members  also spoke at the occasion and stressed that the government announced a clear strategy to revive the economy.