LAHORE - Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Malik Tahir Javed has said that businessmen are the driving force of the economy and the government should shape the business atmosphere in the favour of trade and economic activities. He expressed these remarks while speaking at a function held in the honour of new office-bearers of All Pakistan Paper Merchants Association. LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed, LCCI Vice President Zeeshan Khalil, former LCCI president Muhammad Ali Mian, APPMA leaders Saleem Bakia, Bao Muhammad Bashir, Haji Habib Noor and Khamis Saeed Butt also spoke on the occasion.

The LCCI president said that to maintain a steady and upward economic growth, the government should get rid of those obstacles that are hindering the growth of businesses. It would also help increase GDP growth rate that is moving around 4.71 percent. He said that rules & regulations and laws for trade & industry should be established and implemented through consultative process.

Javed said that all the policies would give desired results if they are made in consultation with concerned stakeholders and all others made in isolation would definitely not work the way they should. He said, “Pakistan is the fourth largest cotton producing country of the world while we have the fifth and third largest reserves of gold & copper and coal, respectively. According to a rough estimate, value of our coal reserves is around $3 trillion that is 187 times more than the GDP of Pakistan.

 It can also be an eye-opener that worth of our coal reserves is higher than the combined oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Iran. Only 2 percent of Pakistani coal reserves could generate 20,000MW electricity for almost 50 years.”

He said early construction of water reservoirs is only solution to generate cheaper electricity and to overcome water shortage in the country. In addition to gold, copper and coal, the country is also enriched with vast reserves of precious stones, gypsum, salt and marble but instead of taking full advantage of these God-gifted resources most of the share being exported in raw form and a little attention towards value-addition could do miracle for the country and its people.