ISLAMABAD - Azam Muhammad, Executive Director General (Domestic Commerce), Ministry of Commerce & Industry visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and sought the input of business community for bringing further improvement in the upcoming Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-15.

He said new trade policy would be announced by end of July 2013 and would give sufficient focus to promoting domestic commerce which is one of the most important segments of Pakistan’s economy. For this purpose, necessary institutional, legal mechanism & business processes are being established to facilitate domestic commerce regulations. He said his purpose of visiting ICCI is to have one-to-one interaction with business community to them on board and get their input for furthering streamlining regulations to facilitate the growth of domestic commerce.

Speaking on the occasion, Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry highlighted the issues being faced in promoting domestic commerce. He said Pakistan is being isolated and government should focus on image building of Pakistan, establish direct air links with regional countries, liberalize its strict visa policy for foreign travelers, address energy crisis on war footing basis and establish rule of law, which are key requirements to promote trade and domestic commerce.

He said government should develop appropriate infrastructures along with upgrading transport and communication system, which will help in improving domestic commerce. He said growth and development of domestic commerce is also handicapped by number of other factors like high land prices and rentals, insecure and unclean land titles, costly utilities, over regulation of the markets, missing links in the distribution chains of agriculture and industrial products, deteriorating law and order conditions, weak contract enforcement, shortage of warehousing and storage facilities and government should address all these issues for smooth growth of domestic commerce.