Lahore - Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar has said that the government will extend full support to 2nd LCCI OIC Investment Conference scheduled for April 2014.
The Governor said that the OIC countries must enhance their interaction as the trade has emerged as engine of growth and prosperity of nations.
The OIC countries with their immense natural and human resources, have great potential for economic cooperation. However, the existing level of intra-OIC trade was far below this potential. He added that the global Halal market alone has a very huge potential and the OIC countries must leverage their comparative advantage in Halal products by ensuring highest standards of quality.
The Governor was of the view that if the private sector and the government of OIC countries pool their efforts to increase their trade, nothing can stop them from becoming an economic block in the real term. He said that the Punjab government was putting in its best efforts to get foreign investment and had already signed a number of agreements to facilitate the foreign investors. He said that the LCCI initiative would be supplementing the government’s efforts and it was a right step in right direction. The governor was talking to a five-member delegation led by LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the current level of trade among the OIC countries was disappointing despite the fact that OIC member countries have religious, cultural ties and similarities and huge potential for trade. He said that the population of OIC Countries is one fourth of the total population of the world while their share in total volume of the trade is less than 10 per cent.
The objective of the 2nd LCCI Investment Conference was to identify the impediments to trade and escalate work on dismantling tariff and non-tariff barriers that are stalling growth in trade and investment.He said that there is huge potential for increasing the share of the intra-OIC trade to address the issues of poverty, low economic growth and investment in the member states provided the problems restricting interaction and cooperation between private sectors of the member states are removed.
He said that it was very unfortunate that a majority of the Muslim countries prefer trade with other countries than OIC states.
“Improvement in trade within the OIC group can be a lot beneficial for the weaker economies”.“Muslim countries do not trade with each other or invest in each other’s economies as they do with the industrialised and developed countries.