Pakistan is facing an economic meltdown as exports and foreign currency reserves are dropping, therefore, it is imperative for the government to provide maximum support to the private sector for reviving the economy, remarked Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari.
He was speaking at a dinner reception hosted by Pak-China Business Forum (PCBF) Chairman Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Ali in collaboration with the Traders Welfare Association.
“During the first five months (July-November) of current fiscal year, exports have shrunk to $11.93 billion as compared to $12.36 billion in the corresponding period of last year, which is not a good omen,” Bakhtawari observed.
He expressed fear that if exports continued to fall, the government would find it difficult to achieve current fiscal year’s target. He urged the government to identify reasons for the decline in exports and take urgent measures to rectify the situation.
Bakhtawari cited that China’s annual imports were valued at over $2 trillion, but Pakistan’s exports to Beijing stood at less than $3 billion, which were negligible as compared to the potential of the Chinese market.
“The government should fully cooperate with exporters in enhancing exports to China, which will help in improving the health of economy,” he stressed and assured ICCI’s willingness to work with PCBF to enhance trade between Pakistan and China, which would be beneficial for both the countries.
Speaking on the occasion, PCBF Chairman Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Ali said that the forum was 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 the Special Economic Zones being set up under the CPEC programme.
Ex-senator Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qayyum Khan stated that the government should make business and economic policies in consultation with the chambers of commerce.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2022.
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