Trade imbalance: Business community expresses concern

Promises a charter of economy for political parties

Our Correspondent November 22, 2017
Containers at a port. PHOTO: REUTERS

MULTAN: The business community of southern Punjab has urged the government to maintain balance in trade and avoid foreign debts to ensure sustainable economic growth.

Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) President Malik Asrar Ahmed Awan said on Tuesday that MCCI has geared up efforts to develop a Charter of Economy (CoE) in partnership with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) which would then be presented to political parties.

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While acknowledging improvement in the country’s growth rate, Awan expressed caution at the World Bank’s biannual report which presented massive internal and external imbalances in the country’s economy.

He highlighted Pakistan’s poor export performance and rising debt burden as the main causes behind the macroeconomic imbalances, while stressing the government to take strong policy measures to facilitate the private sector in promoting exports. He urged that government to also focus on revenue mobilisation by broadening the tax net instead of resorting to heavy borrowings.

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The MCCI president said that reliance on short-term foreign commercial loans could also create repayment issues for the country in future, adding that the government should take private sector on board and make a new strategy in consultation with the business community to steer the economy out of challenges.

He was of the view that effective economic reforms would also improve Pakistan’s ranking on Ease of Doing Business Index as well.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2017.

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