Business community welcomes donors pledge of over $5 Billion to strengthen Pakistan’s economy

  • April 20, 2009
Traders and Industrialists in a meeting held at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed donors pledge of over $5 billion in aid to bolster Pakistan’s troubled economy and fight war on terror. They said according to some estimates, Pakistan suffered a loss of about $ 35 billion so far by becoming a key partner in war against terrorism and though this pledge is far less compared to magnitude of our economic damages. However, it will prove quite helpful for Pakistan at a time when our economy is on the downward slide. The US and Japan pledged $1 billion each, Saudi Arabia added $700 million and the EU $640 million while the total pledged was $5.28 billion.

Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry called upon the donors to provide their contributions pledged on Friday to Pakistan as early as possible to provide new blood to its sagging economy. He said Friends of Pakistan should provide more financial aid to Pakistan in proportion to the extent of our economic losses suffered for fighting terrorism. World should realize that economically strong Pakistan will prove beneficial for all. He said government should utilize these contributions on improving the economic climate in the country through infrastructure and other projects to bring stability in the economy. He said this aid should also be used for poverty reduction and social sector development projects which so far did not get proper attention in government priorities.  He said health and education sectors also need more financial resources to uplift people quality of life.

ICCI President said being strategically located in the heart of Asia, Pakistan should step up its efforts to get easy access to all the growing markets of the world to create better economic opportunities for its economy. In order to capitalize on its strategic location, Pakistan should improve investor friendly policy, broad features of which include, proactive facilitation and guarantees of equal treatment of both local and foreign investors, easy tariff structures and a liberal regime on repatriation of profits. Businessmen were of the view that government should plan to undertake further structural reforms in various sectors of the economy to attract investments both foreign and domestic. Power sector should get top priority for investment because power shortage is proving the biggest hurdle in promotion of business activities.