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Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry will help expedite visa process for Pakistani businessmen

Lahore, October 11, 2012 (PPI-OT): The President, Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) Ambassador Benedict Yujuico has said that the Confederation will help expedite visa process for Pakistani businessmen in all the 27-member countries.

Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday. LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar presented Address of Welcome while FPCCI President Haji Fazal Kader Khan Sherani, Vice President CACCI Tariq Sayeed, Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce Iftikhar Ali Malik, former LCCI president Mian Muzaffar Ali and Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad and former Vice President Aftab Ahmad Vohra also spoke on the occasion.

Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico said that he understands that delayed issuance of visas to genuine businessmen is a hurdle to expand businesses.

The president CACCI also invited Pakistani businessmen to participate in the international exhibition being arranged by the Confederation in Cebu, Philippines in March 2013 to have first hand knowledge about available business opportunities.

He said that Pakistani businessmen would be allowed to display their products at the said exhibition.

He urged the Pakistan business community to become the life member of CACCI for a close coordination with counterparts in the 27 countries that are members of the Confederation.

Talking about energy shortage in Pakistan, he called for adoption of short-term methodologies to overcome ongoing energy crisis.

The President CACCI said that though the short-term captive power solutions were not cost effective but it was better to have costly electricity than no power at all. He said that Pakistan could produce electricity through Bagasse and Rice Husk.

He said that Pakistan`s sugar industry crushes 30- 40 million tons of sugarcane that yields about 12 million tons of sugarcane waste known as bagasse and it could produce over 2,000 MW of electricity.

He said that Regional trade integration is a major tool for socio-economic development of the region. The CACCI can play a crucial role in promoting greater coordination among chambers of commerce, business associations and enterprises in Asia and the Western Pacific, he added.

He stressed greater coordination among the business entities of the regional countries, which, he said, would help persuade the respective governments adopt business-friendly policies.

Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico said that business communities in Asian countries should cooperate with each other for strengthening their respective economies.

He assured the CACCI support to the Pakistani businessmen in their efforts to extend their business ventures and take full advantage of business opportunities available in the region

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that the regional economies needed to work in close coordination for the larger benefits of the people of this part of the world because the global economic conditions were becoming increasingly difficult day by day.

He said that leading economies of the world are faced with uncertain times characterized by high level of public debts, low growth, unemployment and recessionary fears. The looming spectre of fiscal cliff in the US, double dip recession in the UK, near bankruptcy situation in Greece and Spain and the continuation of low growth and deflationary tendencies in the Japanese economy are dampening the prospects of expansion of the global trade.

At the same time, he said, economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China commonly known as BRIC economies are loosing steam. The almost invincible Chinese growth rate is softening and might settle down to around 7% in contrast to the experience of double digit expansion during the last decade. India is also expected to go through a soft patch over the coming years.

In view of somewhat depressing global economic situation, prospects of decent growth in Asia Pacific countries are holding up well. “Asia Pacific is a region of a diverse set of lucky economies.”

The LCCI President said that the outward orientation of the Pakistan’s economy is increasingly improving. The private sector is consistently networking internationally but it still has the potential to do much better.

“A close working relationship with CACCI can go a long way in helping us improve our overall local, regional and international economic, investment and trade performance.”

Like many other developing countries, Pakistan also has a strong and extensive industrial base mostly consisting of small and medium enterprises. More than 93% of all registered economic entities in Pakistan fall in the category of SMEs which are the biggest source of employment and exports for the country.

The LCCI President said that both the LCCI and CACCI should immediately undertake joint initiatives in three areas including involving the development of a sectoral databank of companies that are already doing business and of those having the potential to engage in most promising trade opportunities in Asia Pacific region. Second, LCCI and CACCI should undertake a joint research activity to understand the real product-level trade potential of the entire region. Third, business to business networking through exchange of delegations.

The CACCI delegation included Mrs. Teresita M Yujuico, Li Kwok Ming of Kowloon Chamber of Commerce, Dr Webster W Kiang, Adviser CACCI, Amador R. Honrado, Jr, Deputy Director-General of CACCI and Ms. Thea Berandette De Mesa.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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