LAHORE - Business community reservations on Trade Organizations Ordinance will be removed and their suggestions would be given due consideration. This was stated by Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce MNA Khurram Dastgir while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday. Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Shahzad Ali Malik, Senior Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad, MNA Shireen Arshad, former Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Presidents Iftikhar Ali Malik, Mian Muzaffar Ali, former Vice President Shafqat Saeed Piracha, Ms Rubina Khalid of National Institute of Lok Virsa, EC members Dr Shahid Raza, G R Siddique and Rehmatullah Javaid also spoke on the occasion. Khurram Dastgir said that it was very unfortunate that the government did not take the business community into confidence on Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement that is detrimental to our economic interests. The MNA said Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) should have been debated in the Parliament after seeking the opinion of Trade and Industry because entire nation is the stakeholder as far as this important Agreement is concerned. He said that both the government and the private sector would have to work hand in hand so that the economy of the country could be back on rails at the earliest. He said that the situation is not as conducive as is being painted by some circles. The Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce said that the government would have to evolve a solid strategy to ensure jobs to the less educated youth. Khurram Dastgir said that corruption was the biggest hurdle in the way of progress and prosperity of the country therefore the government would have to introduce culture of transparency in all spheres of life to bring the country out of economic quagmire. He said that the Commerce Committee of the National Assembly was playing its role fully by raising its voice for the cause of the business community. He said that NA Standing Committee on Commerce was also working for the development of women entrepreneurs that make more than half of countrys total population. He said that all sorts of recommendations to this regard would be given due consideration and their issues would be given priority at all forums. In his address, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Shahzad Ali Malik said that it was an age of economic diplomacy and it would have been better if the business community was taken onboard before initiating dialogue with European Union. While citing the example of Swimsuits, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry President said that the EU concession-list contains quite a few items that are not even being manufactured in Pakistan. Shahzad Ali Malik suggested that government should initiate another round of talks with the European Union for getting duty-free access for fresh fruits, vegetables and rice that are best of the best in entire world. He said that the representatives of Chambers of Commerce and trade associations must be made part of negotiating team to this regard. He said that the situation in neighboring India is quite different as they mostly engage technocrats and the members of private sector along with their bureaucrats while taking up business and trade related issues on any international platform. The LCCI President said that there was no second opinion about it that trade delegations planned by the Ministry of Commerce were really playing important role in enhancing trade relations with trading countries but it was equally important that the representation of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry should be ensured into these missions. Shahzad Ali also suggested that the women entrepreneurs who take part in int'l trade fairs should also be provided TA/DA and hotel residence at subsidized rates so that more and more women could be encouraged in this connection. The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Senior Vice President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad called for immediate measures to get rid of IMF dictates that always multiply the problems being faced by the country. He said that optimum utilization of resources was prerequisite to economic independence. The former LCCI/FPCCI President Iftikhar Ali Malik said that the business community would continue to play its role for making Pakistan economically strong and an investment destination in true sense of the word.