The boom in the housing and construction sector can turn around the economy, create more jobs and attract investment, said Ministry of Housing and Works Secretary Iftikhar Ali Shallwani.
Speaking at the pre-launch ceremony for the first International Housing Expo under the theme “Shelter for All” on Thursday, Shallwani said that many countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Japan achieved better growth by focusing on the housing and construction sector.
He highlighted that Dubai in 2008-09 was encountering economic problems and the construction of only one mega project “Burj Khalifa” helped to revive its economy.
“The International Housing Expo is aimed at stimulating business and economic activities and providing affordable housing to the people,” Shallwani remarked.
He stressed that the government wanted to promote the housing sector with public-private partnership to address the housing needs of people.
“Housing is the fundamental right of every citizen and the government wants to meet their expectations in collaboration with the private sector,” he said. “By wooing local and international investors, the expo will be the right step towards providing shelter to all.”
Speaking on the occasion, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari said that Pakistan had a deficit of millions of houses due to its rising population.
He emphasised that the government should support the housing and construction sector to ensure the provision of shelter to all. “Growth in housing and construction will expand business activities in all allied industries and help revive the economy,” he said.
He was of the view that timely delivery of credible housing projects based on public-private partnership would improve the confidence of buyers and attract more investment.
Bakhtawari underlined that the ICCI had already organised two successful property and housing expos and expected the first International Housing Expo to be a landmark success.
“The government should establish an expo centre in the federal capital to promote exhibitions by different sectors to boost business and economic activities,” he suggested.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2022.
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