LAHORE-The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, appreciating the government commitment to follow macroeconomic fundamentals through effective policy-making and targeted reforms, has called for taking the real stakeholders onboard for an ultimate object of sustainable and inclusive growth trajectory.

FPCCI President Mian Anjum Nisar stressed the need for designing policies in consultation with real stakeholders to address economic challenges like inflation, stagnant exports and resource mobilization.

He said major economic indicators are showing positive growth which manifested the fact that the government has put the economy in the right direction, saying the policymaking in consultation with the private sector will overcome the economic challenges, besides removing hitches to speedy economic recovery.

“The FPCCI has been working with the government to utilize its abilities to review the overall economic situation and coordinate policy actions in an effective manner to achieve the desired targets of key economic indicators.”

Mian Anjum Nisar said there was significant growth in foreign reserves and foreign direct investment with decline in the current account deficit. The large scale manufacturing sector was also showing improvement. The boost in the economic activities would hopefully improve the overall situation in every sector, he added.

He said that the current accommodative stance of monetary policy will support economic recovery while inflationary pressure is also expected to ease out in coming months due to various policy measures. He hoped that the exports would register a sharp improvement in Oct 2020. He said that current account balance is in surplus, which will have a positive impact on the exchange rate stability of the currency.

He said the economic outreach initiative launched by PM Imran Khan would bring a positive change. Efforts should also be made to highlight the country’s soft image across the world, he demanded.

Sharing the data of exports, the FPCCI President stated that the export figures for Sep 2020 have shown improvement as compared to Sep 2019, growing by 6% to $1.87 billion. He, however, believed that there is still room for improvement, as this is better than decline of 15% in Aug exports. He said that our exports are limited to a few merchandise and dependent on a few countries which was the biggest reason of decline in exports. He urged the government to conduct market research to find out new destinations for the Pakistani products which are best in the world as far as quality and price is concerned. He said that Pakistani Missions abroad should be duty-bound to introduce Pakistani products to the foreign buyers and also ensure dissemination of trade related information so that Pakistan entrepreneurs could avail trade opportunities to the maximum.

FPCCI President also appreciated the approval of three new special economic zones (SEZs) in Islamabad, Punjab and Sindh. He said that a number of SEZs planned under CPEC are meant to attract Chinese investors, who would relocate their manufacturing establishments to Pakistan to move closer to the growing Pakistani middle-class urban consumer base and the thriving export markets of Middle East and North Africa. In return, Pakistan would get investments and jobs, ushering in a new era of industrialization.

He said that the FPCCI acts as a bridge between the government and the business community. It has always tried to ensure a business-friendly environment through sharing views with the government and by taking all the stakeholders onboard on all the economy related issues. The primary objective of the FPCCI is to protect the interests of the business community while remaining committed to the cause of development of the country.

He said that there are a number of issues that must be resolved on priority basis. The biggest one is how to keep the momentum of growth in the wake of a less than targeted growth of the agriculture and the manufacturing sector.

He said that the frequent increases in the prices of energy are making Pakistani products uncompetitive in the international market and Pakistan is losing the international markets to China, India and even Bangladesh. Although the oil prices were linked to international prices of oil, the benefit of decline in oil prices has not been passed on to the consumers for quite a long time.

He said that trade and Industry is the backbone of the economy as the government generates more than 90 per cent of its total resources from this sector therefore it can make a great contribution in turning Pakistan into one of the greatest nations in the world provided due facilitation and an enabling business atmosphere are ensured.