LAHORE             -        The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Saturday welcomed resumption of flight operations from Pakistan to the rest of the world and termed it a great news for the businesses and economy. In a statement, LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that business community has learnt a good news after a long time as COVID-19 halted all trade and economic activities in March-2020. Flight operations were suspended in March when the country came under a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. He said that commencement of flights from all the national and foreign airlines will provide impetus to Pakistan’s external trade and tourism industry as well. “We hail government’s decision to resume domestic and international flight operations in a standardized manner”, the LCCI President said and added that implementation of Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines by the government will help to address essential health and safety. He said that though COVID-19 has caused unprecedented loss to the economies of the entire world and jolted the basis of economic structures but international trades are inching towards normalization. Being a developing country, Pakistan desperately needs to boost its international trade and flight operations by all the national and foreign airlines would greatly help to this cause. He said that it would also an important step to drive the tourism sector of Pakistan.  He urged all the domestic and international airlines to ensure implementation of guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures set by the government of Pakistan and of the destination countries. They should also ensure disinfection of aircraft and not congestion at airport should be allowed. He said that now government would have to take all possible measures to lift the exports that have been hit hard by the coronavirus.

 According to a report, the country recorded $1.39 billion in merchandise exports last May, the lowest number in years, and a 34 percent drop from a year ago. He said that exports are critical to economic recovery of Pakistan. He said that export oriented industry of Pakistan is labor intensive and providing jobs to human resources and are a major source to earn foreign exchange for the country.