Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, Federal Minister for Commerce said that for making Pakistan a strong economy, rapid increase in exports was vital and urged that the private sector should focus on improving competitiveness and quality of products to enhance Pakistan’s exports. He was addressing local business community after inaugurating International Trade and Research Centre at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He said though Pakistan’s exports were now improving, but the country was still facing exports deficit of $3 billion every month compared to imports. He said the private sector should change its strategy and focus on value added products that would give significant boost to exports. He said that government was revising FTAs with other countries including China to further improve Pakistan’s trade with foreign countries.
Pervaiz Malik said that cost of production in Pakistan was high and government was making efforts to bring down electricity cost in order to reduce production cost so that business activities and exports could flourish. He said the STPF 2015-18 was ending on 30th June this year and added that strengthening trade related institutions and facilitating trade promotion would be the key focus in the next five years STPF. He said chambers of commerce were partners with government in promoting trade & exports and assured that government would take steps to further facilitate the business community. He congratulated ICCI for establishing International Trade and Research Centre and hoped that it would be beneficial for the economy and the business community. In his welcome address, Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the business community was making strong efforts to promote Pakistan’s trade and exports and stressed that the government should fully support them in such pursuits. Highlighting the objectives of International Trade and Research Centre, he said that four new cells have been setup under this Centre. He said International Trade Development Cell would facilitate the business community in promoting foreign trade. CPEC Facilitation Cell would facilitate prospective investors in making investments and joint ventures in various CPEC projects. Training and Capacity Building Cell would help the business community in promoting business through providing them trainings and building their capacity. Similarly, Women Business Growth Cell would facilitate the women startups and existing women entrepreneurs in better growth of businesses. Muhammad Naveed Malik Senior Vice President and Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI thanked the Federal Minister for Commerce for inaugurating International Trade and Research Center and hoped that this new department would facilitate in promoting trade and providing better services to members.