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Ahsan Iqbal urges private sector for maximum participation in CPEC projects

Islamabad, November 09, 2016 (PPI-OT): Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning said that private sector was the driver of economic growth and government wanted its maximum participation in CPEC projects to realize full benefits of this flagship project. He said that CPEC was a trendsetter for investment in our country as many foreign investors including Renault were now taking keen interest in Pakistan. He said this while talking to a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry that called on him led by President Khalid Iqbal Malik.

Ahsan Iqbal said Chinese leaders at highest level have assured to promote industrialization in Pakistan through CPEC and we should not take any stand to affect their goodwill. He stressed that business community should explore maximum joint ventures and partnerships with Chinese counterparts in CPEC projects and upgrade technology and machinery to compete effectively. He said due to high labour cost, China wanted to relocate its industry to low cost countries which provided us a good opportunity to attract them. He said China has technology and expertise while we have good human resource that offered win-win situation. He said Pakistani businessmen should understand Chinese import structure and business processes to promote trade with it.

He said private sector should focus on industrial efficiency, cost cutting and productivity improvement to compete in international markets and highlighted quality, competitiveness and innovation as way forward for it. He said mobile giants Blackberry and Nokia have been wiped out by competitors with constant innovation and business community should adopt a proactive approach to respond fast to outside changes. He said Pakistan normally adopted import substitution approach, but private sector could put it on export-led growth. He said ICCI should form a think-tank to develop out of box strategies for export-led growth. He said government wanted to make Pakistan a knowledge economy through strong academia-industry linkages and assured that it would facilitate private sector in public-private partnerships and international matchmakings.

Speaking at the occasion, Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that CPEC offered lot of hope for Pakistan, but government should address the concerns of private sector to ensure a level-playing field for it in this project. He said government should provide support to local industry in technology upgradation and reduce duty on import of industrial machinery.

The delegation members said that business contracts with Chinese counterparts entailed many restrictions on local partners and government should look into this factor. They stressed that CPEC should give boost to local industry in Pakistan and not make it a hub of only commerce and warehousing activities. They emphasized that government should develop strong dispute resolution mechanisms with China to promote trade with it and make CPEC JVs successful. Khalid Malik Senior Vice President, Tahir Ayub Vice President ICCI, Khalid Javed, Mian Akram Farid, Mian Shaukat Masud, Zafar Bakhtawari, M. Ejaz Abbasi, Sheikh Amir Waheed, M. Zikrea A Zia, Naeem Siddiqui, Khalid Chaudhry, Muhammad Hussain and Ch. Mazhar Hussain were in ICCI delegation.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk

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