ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Sheikh Amir Waheed has called upon the government to take measures for ensuring timely establishment of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) under CPEC in the federal capital, that would give a boost to industrial activities in the region and contribute to improving country’s exports.
He said this while exchanging views with SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik during a meeting with him along with a delegation. ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed, Founder Group Chairman Zubair Ahmed Malik and FPCCI Chief Coordinator Malik Sohail Hussain were also in the delegation.
Sheikh Amir Waheed said that CPEC has now entered into the second phase of the long-term plan (LTP) after the completion of the early harvest programme (EHP) and stressed that more focus should be given on industrial cooperation in the second phase to promote industrialisation in the country. He said that the local industry should get better opportunities in SEZs that would be set up in the second phase.
He also said that the business community has pinned a lot of hopes on CPEC, and emphasised that the modernisation of the local industry should be the main component of the LTP in order to transform Pakistan into an industrialised country at par with other developed countries.
Speaking on the occasion, SAARC Chamber of Commerce Vice President and United Business Group Chairman Iftikhar Ali assured that he would convey the demand of ICCI for the establishment of SEZ in Islamabad to the relevant authorities. He added that the CPEC is a game changer for the country and the LTP has created lot of positives which would touch upon all important sectors of the economy including connectivity with road and rail infrastructure, information network, energy, trade, industrial parks, agriculture, poverty alleviation, and tourism – with a focus on maritime.
The vice president also said that apart from industrial cooperation, the LTP would also modernise Pakistan’s agriculture sector as new agro-based technologies, seeds, and irrigation mechanism would be introduced. He stressed that the enterprises from Pakistan and China should be given enhanced role in the LTP so that joint ventures and partnerships between the private sectors of Pakistan and China could be materialised to create economic benefits for both countries and for the region.
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