Mitigating crisis: LNG import to start next year, says Dastgir

Process to develop the required infrastructure underway.

Our Correspondent April 10, 2014
Federal minister for commerce Khurram Dastagir addressing at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Thursday, April 10, 2014. PHOTO: NNI

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir has said that formal import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) will start in 2015 as the process to develop the required infrastructure is in full swing. The import of LNG would help supplement government efforts to mitigate the gas shortage in the country.

Dastgir, during his visit to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries, cited examples of China, Malaysia, Indonesia and India, saying that the progress and prosperity is not possible without liberalising the trade regime. Therefore, strenuous efforts are being made to liberalise the country’s trade regime.

However, he made it clear that all the future Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) will be signed after complete research.

“Serious efforts are under way to overcome the challenges of energy shortage,” he said, adding that only due to these two issues the country could not get its place in the international marketplace.

“The mistakes committed during 1994 to 2013 on the economic front are being rectified through a collective approach and collective wisdom.”

Work to generate electricity through coal was in its advance stages as it is the only way to rid of costly thermal electricity. He said that the country energy mix would be reversed to ensure relief to the masses.

LCCI President Sohail Lashari appreciated the government for giving required focus toward the economic issues and said that the business community would continue to supplement government efforts aimed at progress and prosperity.

He urged the minister to direct the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan to collaborate with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry before finalising its foreign delegations and exhibition in foreign destinations. He also called for an early establishment of regional offices of Director General Trade Organisations to facilitate the private sector.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2014.

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