KARACHI  - Many foreign delegates and companies have confirmed their participation in the four-day 7th Expo Pakistan, scheduled from October 4 to 7, said Makhdoom Amin Fahim.

The Expo has become an annual feature to showcase the variety and quality of products and services offered by Pakistan. Foreign exhibitors also use this platform to launch their products, he said.

The Ministry of Commerce will soon announce a three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-15, as an attempt to provide a longer term policy framework to have consistency and predictability for the businesses to be able to plan and strategize for expansion and growth, said Senior Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim while speaking at curtain raising ceremony of 7th Expo Pakistan. The event was organized by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) which is a part of Federal Ministry of Commerce here.

He said Expo Pakistan has become a flagship event for the Ministry of

Commerce and the TDAP. He said that he was very happy to note that the response from foreign buyers was increasing as more and more foreign companies had shown interest to attend the event despite the economic slowdown in Europe and America.

He said that he would personally support the Expo by enhancing its scope and to make it a ‘ must-attend’ event for the big chain stores and large buyers. That is why I have requested foreign diplomats and business leaders of the country to join us this evening, he said.

One can notice a significant shift which is surely and steadily taking place through economic re-distribution amongst world nations.

Most observers agree that economic gap between the West and the Asian economies is shrinking to the advantage of Asia, he said.

The Federal Commerce Minister said that our neighboring states India and China are being seen as the engines of growth for the global economy in the coming decades as they were showing nearly double-digit growth rates; bringing millions of their citizens out of poverty as their economies generate wealth at an astounding pace.

It is surely a matter of concern that Pakistan, being in high growth neighbourhood, has a low growth rate. The high unemployment breeds social instability and economic slowdown. Such efforts like the Expo would help in rapidly improving the growth rates and exports are one of such instruments.

While the leaders of our industry help lead our country on the path of prosperity, it is imperative that we, the elected representatives of the public provide them the best support.

The Ministry of Commerce is about to announce a three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-15, as an attempt to provide a longer term policy framework to have consistency and predictability for the businesses to be able to plan and strategize for expansion and growth.

For moving forward, he said that he would urge the concerned government agencies to simplify procedures, reduce red tape, and enhance transparency and efficiency to create a most business-friendly environment.

He said that he was happy to note that some progress had been made by the PPP-led Government. A recent acknowledgement of this fact is a World Bank Report on Ease of Doing Business in South Asia, which has ranked Pakistan as number one in the region, ahead of countries like India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Our government is committed to make Pakistan a preferred destination for business.

Under the democratic government, we are making a concerted efforts to overcome historically negative mindset regarding business and trade with our neighbours. Recently concluded trade talks between India and Pakistan have ended on a positive note and we are on y soon. This would have a salutary effect on various regional trade agreements like SAFTA. Similarly, trade is expanding tremendously with other neighbours like Afghanistan, Central Asian countries and Iran.