Livestock potential must be tapped: Shahbaz

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LAHORE – The Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, on Friday, said that the country’s livestock sector has enough potential to eliminate poverty and unemployment, in addition to earning huge foreign exchange through export of dairy products.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the three-day First Punjab Expo at Expo Centre here, he said that agriculture holds a key importance in the national economy and Pakistan needs to tap potential of its resources of fertile land, water and brainpower of its citizens.
“If a comprehensive strategy had been adopted during the last 63 years, Pakistan would have been independent of foreign assistance,” he added. He said that a vast scope of development of livestock sector exists and Pakistan was the fourth largest producer of milk in the world. However, at present, its share in global trade in these sectors is almost negligible.
He said that Middle East and other Islamic countries import Halal meat and other products from Brazil, Argentine and South America, despite the fact that aerial distance of these countries from Pakistan is very short. Shahbaz said that Pakistan can earn massive foreign exchange by developing its livestock, agriculture and dairy farming sectors.
The Punjab government has been implementing a comprehensive programme for the uplift of these sectors and a shipment worth 25 tonnes of Halal meat has been sent to Malaysia for the first time in the country’s history, he added. The CM announced grant of a piece of land to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) for the establishment of state-of-the-art biotechnology and information technology labs.
The Senior Member Board of Revenue would contact the LCCI authorities to ensure land for biotechnology and information technology labs very soon, he added. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik said that Punjab has the potential to form a hub of economic activities; however achievement of this status would require the provincial government to extend maximum cooperation to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said that the First Expo Punjab has been arranged with an objective to highlight the potential of the province. He maintained that fairs and exhibitions have always been a best tool to promote bilateral trade, while Germany and France are utilising these tools to their best and are earning huge revenues. Shahzad Malik informed the Chief Minister that LCCI was focusing on Research and Development, a key to economic growth.
The Indonesian Ambassador Ishak Latuconsina also lauded efforts of LCCI and said that such events would help strengthen bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Indonesia. MNA Pervaiz Malik, Iranian Consul General in Lahore Ali Nekan, SAARC CCI Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik and others were also present on the occassion.