KARACHI - President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday invited the countrys leading business houses to join the Government and invest in infrastructure projects on Build, Operate and Own (BOO) basis and offered to hold road shows for the major projects including Pakistan-Turkey railway line, Gorakh Hill Station in Dadu, Zulfikarabad City Project in Thatta, the LNG projects and new highways and bridges in different parts of the country. The President made this offer while meeting the leading members of the business community of Karachi representing the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the Stock Exchange at Bilawal House. The meeting was also attended by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, provincial ministers and senior federal and provincial officials. Issues ranging from reconstruction of flood areas to inflation and from engaging private entrepreneurs in mega development project to raising equity from stock markets for infrastructure projects were discussed in the meeting. Those who attended the meeting included among others Aqeel Dehdy, Arif Habib, Nasir Ali Shah, Jawad Anjum and Zakaria Usman. The President urged the business community to propose out of box and innovative solution to the problems. He said that he had already proposed to the Chinese leadership to transfer Chinese industry to Pakistan by setting up special China Industrial Towns in different parts of the country where low cost labour and tax concessions could be harnessed to the advantage of both the Chinese entrepreneurs and Pakistani people. Zardari said that the devastation caused by floods was unprecedented as nearly 17 million people were adversely affected; about one million houses washed out; 1800km of highways destroyed besides huge damage to other infrastructure. No government and no institution of the state alone can undertake the rehabilitation and reconstruction task, he said, adding everyone including the business community, the NGOs, the civil society, philanthropists and the private sector needed to do their bit to salvage the situation. The President said that the calamity also provided the nation an opportunity to rebuild its infrastructure, reclaim the rivers and make concerted efforts whereby the floodwaters could be diverted to deserts for long-term storage for use in the future. The President once again reiterated his call for raising resources locally to meet the situation before urging the international community to step up aid to Pakistan. How can we implore the world to tax their own people to help us when we have nothing to show that our own well-to-do people are also willing and ready to pay a onetime tax to raise resources locally for flood victims, he asked. The President also reminded the provincial government to quickly move on the legislation for this purpose in consultation with the alliance partners and stakeholders. We will rebuild the devastated infrastructure, the houses and shall enable people to resume their normal lives at the earliest, the President said adding that the Government would build new settlements, towns and villages in different parts of the country. The President assured the business community that the Government would pursue the issue of access to markets and trade facilitation as single point agenda. The President also said that Chinese assistance would be sought in exploring new ways to prevent destruction of infrastructure like dykes during floods.