Women participation in industrial processes would help strengthen the provincial economy, said Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar while talking to a delegation of the Bahawalpur Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI).

The chief minister told the delegation, led by its President Sherry Arshad Khan, that the Punjab government had its focus on the industrial sector and six Special Economic Zones (SEZs) were being established across the province while another four would be notified soon.

“In a first, SEZs are being established in the backward districts of the province and the government’s comprehensive industrial development policy is now bearing fruit,” said Buzdar.

The chief minister disclosed that the Punjab government had launched a programme to provide soft loans to the youth (including women) in order to enable them to start their own business, adding that terms for granting the loans to women entrepreuners had been eased further.

An office of the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) would be opened in southern Punjab where industrial development would give a boost to employment opportunities, he said. Buzdar assured the delegation that their problems would be resolved on a priority basis and the opening of the BWCCI sub-office in Lahore would be considered as well.

He welcomed the proposal of organising the Rohi Mela in Bahawalpur and assured the women entrepreneurs of his full cooperation in that regard as such events would help promote local handicrafts.

Buzdar said a conducive trade and investment environment had been ensured in Punjab and businesswomen must take optimum benefit of it.

“Today, Pakistan is moving towards development and prosperity and it is open for investment. Investors will not face any difficulty,” he emphasised.

On the occasion, delegation head Sherry Arshad Khan shared with the chief minister various matters regarding promotion of women entrepreneurship in the province.