LAHORE - President Mamnoon Hussain has said that despite all odds, Pakistan is moving towards progress which shows its God-gifted immense potential and abilities.

He was addressing the LCCI Ambassadors’ Dinner 2018. The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid, Vice President Zeshan Khalil, Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Pakistan and Dean of Diplomatic Corps Atajan Movlamov also spoke on the occasion. Ambassadors & representatives of over 50 countries and high government officials attended this prestigious ceremony.

The president said that the economy of Pakistan is reviving and it is well on the way to record persistently better economic growth rate with every passing year. For example, the GDP growth for 2017-18 reached 5.79 percent as compared to 5.37 percent in 2016-17.

He said that the optimal and long term economic growth is only possible when all the sectors of economy supplement each other. At present, agriculture, industry and services sectors are showing improvement.

“We are marketing Pakistan in an aggressive manner at international level. The geo-political location of Pakistan has added a lot of value to its standing and it is all set to become trade and energy corridor”, the president said and added that business community is the economic force for the country and its role is significant in economic uplift of the country.

While expressing his views about the main objective of the event, he said that that heads of foreign missions are not just diplomats, in fact, they are the bridge for maintaining and developing contacts between respective governments and people across the borders.

LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid drew the attention of the diplomats towards decision taken by Financial Action Task Force for placing Pakistan on ‘Grey List’ that has shocked the whole nation.

He said that Pakistan has paid heavy price in terms of human lives and economic regression due to playing leading and active role in war against terror. Our forces are still engaged in curbing all the elements which are directly or indirectly involved in terrorism.

Malik Tahir expected that government will soon come up with an action plan for taking necessary measures to implement the FATF’s anti-money laundering and terrorist-financing regulations. It is the need of the hour to plug all the deficiencies while being fully compliant to international conventions. He appealed to all the friendly countries of Pakistan to support in this connection.

The LCCI president said that Pakistan’s economy has emerged as one of the best performing economies in the region. Government is bent towards reviving agricultural growth in Pakistan. There is significant untapped potential for growth and employment creation associated with diversification towards high-value agriculture. Pakistan has proven comparative advantage in certain horticultural and livestock products in global and regional export markets. There is a huge potential to narrow yield gaps and improve enabling environment for post-harvest value-addition and agro-processing.

He said that we are undergoing industrial revolution where the existing and future technologies are becoming embedded in societies and humans beings. The new technologies are impacting all disciplines of our life. It is the right time to invest in the future of Pakistan and LCCI is the right forum for paving the way of innovation and skill development.

Malik Tahir said Pakistan is located in close proximity to high growth potential economies in the Arabian Gulf and Central Asian Republics. The neighbouring countries are taking keen interest in investing in Pakistan which is all set to become a regional trade and energy corridor.

He said that Pakistan is an attractive destination for Halal food, basmati rice, fisheries, marbles, pharmaceuticals, home appliances and light engineering products especially auto industry due to its phenomenal growth on account of following the intensive deletion plan. It is high time for Pakistan’s economy to get a boost not by getting aids from foreign countries but by securing sufficient share in global economy through initiating joint ventures.

Besides, Pakistan offers a wide spectrum of tourism ranging from religious to historical places and ancient civilizations to modern architecture. The landscape of Pakistan has everything one can wish to see – mountains, valleys, rivers, seaside, deserts and open fields etc. Our culture is so rich and has so many diversities that make Pakistan stand out among the top tourist destinations around the globe.

The LCCI president said that relation building is an imperative part of our agenda this evening. Lahore Chamber is known as an important destination of the appointed ambassadors in Pakistan. This institution has always tried to play a vital role in establishing trade ties with other countries. Holding of this dinner is a step ahead of the same agenda.

He requested the friends of Pakistan from the international diplomatic community to project a soft and real image of Pakistan in their countries. He also requested the international media to portray a positive image of Pakistan.

“We firmly believe that trade is key to continuous economic growth and improvement in the standards of living. Support of diplomats is required to achieve our international trade ambitions. It is needless to mention that the role of heads of foreign missions will be of key importance in this regard. We look forward towards friends of Pakistan to get to the stage where we can achieve win-win situation. For that purpose, we have to exchange trade delegations on regular basis and allow our businessmen to freely interact with each other. The idea of holding single country exhibitions on reciprocal basis can create awareness about our respective strong areas. I have to emphasize that liberalized visa regime can greatly contribute to achieve these objectives”, Malik Tahir concluded.