LAHORE  - Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD North) chairman Engr Akber Sheikh, who has earlier served as chairman Constructors Association of Pakistan (CAP) and as chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association APTMA Punjab, has congratulated the federal government and the governor Punjab for successfully campaigning for GSP plus status for Pakistan exports to EU resulting in positive vote at INTA meeting. He has expressed hope that EU parliament’s plenary session will also result in positive outcome. He has said that job creation is the single most important tool in the fight against terrorism.

Engr Akber Sheikh has said that to gain the full benefit of the anticipated duty free market access, Pakistan will have to increase its garment production capacity manifold. In this regard the 1000 acre garment park proposed by Government of Punjab is a welcome step. However chairman ABAD has proposed, as an immediate step, construction of smaller hybrid garment parks spread over the province. He has offered to set up a hybrid garment park over an area of about 200 acres, near Lahore. In the proposed garment park, the garment manufacturing area will have adjacent housing scheme for workers. The housing scheme will provide health, education and vocational training facilities at workers doorsteps. ABAD-NR has offered to set up this garment park with facility for 5000 stitching machines. The park will provide employment for 10000 workers. These workers will be provided housing under the CM Ashiana Housing model or Prime Minister 500000 houses initiative if long term housing loans can be provided to the workers. The proposed garment park will provide annual exports worth 150 million dollars. ABAD has also offered to help the government in executing the government sponsored garment parks in public private partnership mode.