Fahim confident of EU trade access


Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim has said that market access to the European Union is a matter of time, with or without Indian support. The minister was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of first-ever Advisory Centre for Technology Upgradation in Industries at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
The body’s president, Shahzad Ali Malik, Senior Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad, Vice President Sohail Azhar, former Presidents Iftikhar Ali Malik, Mian Misbahur Rehman, Mian Muzaffar Ali, former Senior Vice President Abdul Basit, former Vice President Aftab Ahmad Vohra, former PIAF Chairman Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, TUSDEC Chairman Manzar Shamim, Federal Secretary Commerce Zafar Mehmood and LCCI Standing Committee Convener Mian Fazal Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.
Makhdoom Amin Fahim inaugurated the Advisory Centre for Technology Upgradation in Industries while the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Council (TUSDEC).
Fahim said that both the president and prime minister in their visits to European capitals have made consistent effort towards gaining greater market access for Pakistani products. Turing towards the construction of water reservoirs in the country, the federal minister said that Kalabagh Dam has been heavily politicised and its construction is only possible through the consensus of all four federating unit despite the fact that all current government efforts to forge consensus have failed. However, he said that work on Basha Dam and a number of smaller hydroelectric projects are in progress.
On future trade policy, Makhdoom Amin Fahim said that all the chambers would be taken onboard before finalising the new trade policy. While expressing satisfaction of the achievement of export target, the minister said that the export growth momentum would have to be maintained. Discussing the trade ordinance, he said that the matter is now under the purview of NA Standing Committee on Commerce. However, the commerce ministry has voiced no objection if the previous system of retiring a third of members every year is restored.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik said that technological development is a continuous process as local industries are facing greater competition in the international marketplace and to meet objectives the establishment of Advisory Centre for Technology Upgradation in collaboration with TUSDEC is a step in the right direction.
The LCCI president underscored that considering the economic outlook, technology upgradation in sync with industrial requirements is the need of the hour while the LCCI is fully determined to put in great effort in every possible manner while playing its due role as one of the key stakeholders of the economy.
He said that the LCCI is keen to bring tangible improvements in export competitiveness which can become a strong base for revival of the national economy. He said that technology today plays a vital role in helping businesses to constantly move up and in providing a multi-prolonged strategy for maximising opportunities.
The LCCI president said that the fact remains that technology upgradation was the only way to improve the quality and cost competitiveness in a drive to survive, grow and win. The industrial sector will have to continuously infuse the latest technology tools in their production processes and marketing and management functions to cut cost, gain efficiency and consistency, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI Standing Committee Technology Promotion Convener Mian Fazal Ahmad said that the centre is the first such organised initiative in the country to fulfill the vital need for technological revamping of the industrial sector. It would provide effective advisory services including for agro based units to bring about a change in real terms. It would interact with industry, public sector research organisations, university experts and the government sector to achieve the desired objectives of strengthening national economy through a technological upgradation programme. He said in the first phase, the LCCI would focus on exporting and exportable industries while other areas would subsequently be earmarked for additional upgradation.