FAISALABAD - Pakistani businessmen and entrepreneurs will have to reach global dimensions, adopt modern technology and mindset, and ensure de-regulation of the economy, infrastructural development and public-private partnership for their survival in the 21st Century, said Dr Salman Shah, a former federal minister for finance on Tuesday.As the chief guest, he was addressing a conference titled ‘Revival of Pakistan’s Economy’. The moot was organised by the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.“The most important agenda for revival of the economy is to have a progressive and viable approach to the problems faced with the national economy,” he said. He elaborated that the economy had sunk and was not progressing at the desired rate of 8 to 10 percent per annum which is essential and vital for survival of the country. He stressed that the business community should gather at a one platform and all the stakeholders should forge unanimous charter of demands to implement the common agenda to be made by experts, and secondly they should ask for deregulation of the economy. Giving an example, he said that the telecommunication sector had been deregulated and it was successfully serving the people now. Through the de-regularisation of the Railways, the Oil and Gas Development Company, and power sector, the government would save huge expenditure and the economy of the country will take a positive turn. Regarding external trade, he said the Pakistan businessmen should be provided facilities and direction towards searching out the untapped areas of the external trade. He said the Central Asian Republics, Latin America and Far East markets were open for Pakistani businessmen to do external trade and reap dividend. Dr Salman also suggested that productivity of industry, business and trade in the country should be improved and it will automatically raise the income of manufacturers, traders and exporters. He detailed that Pakistani shirt was selling only at one dollar whereas the Chinese and other countries’ shirts were selling at 16 dollars. The Pakistani shirt can also achieve the desired level of a good price through proper value addition and quality control. On the occasion, Dr Shahid Kardar, former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, stressed the growth rate of GDP to 8 % to absorb 230 million youth that will enter into labour market in the next 35 years. He said that the GDP was currently growing at the rate of 3.2% per annum and job provision was at less than 1.4%. He emphasised increase in the domestic rate of savings up to 30% of the GDP which is merely less than 15% now while in India and China is more than 35%. And this should be done jointly by the government, corporate sector and common man, and the government should change its preferences, he added.Dr Akbar Zaidi, an eminent economist, also supported the views of other speakers that GDP rate of the country has lowered down to approximately 3 % in the previous years and termed Small & Medium Enterprises the engine of growth. The SMEs’ growth will not only further provide employment but also help increase GDP growth of the country, he added.Dr Ikramul Haq, an international tax consultant, spoke for the revival of the economy by reforms in the current taxation system. Mr Qaiser Ahmad Sheik, the former president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, appreciated the role of the FCCI in organising the conference and emphasised increased role of all the chambers of commerce in the country. He emphasised that more and more businessmen should become members of assemblies so that their voice could be raised at the national level.Dr Rafique Ahmed, the former VC of the Punjab University, and Dr Qais Aslam, a professor at the University of Central Punjab, also addressed the conference.Welcoming the guests, FCCI President Mian Zahid Aslam said that businessmen in the past were not as disturbed as they are today because of the unavailability of facilities such as electricity and gas and other factors like law and order and security. Resultantly, he added, the foreign direct investment has decreased by 67% in the last three months of current year compared with the corresponding period of the last year. He pointed out that China’s GDP was growing at the rate of 9.3%, India 6.9%, Bangladesh 6.7%, Iran 8.3% and Pakistan only 2.4% per annum. He said, “We have to search out the reasons for such a low rate of progress,” he said. He emphasised the need for constructing large dams as huge water resources were being wasted every year. Yet another area was the US war on the borders of Pakistan wherein Pakistan has lost 40,000 lives and suffered 72 billion dollar loss. “We have to get rid of the so called war against terror. This is not our war,” he said and pinpointed the resource richness and ranking of Pakistan worldwide in various minerals and fields. He lamented that Pakistan was still not in a better position in the comity of nations.