Dastagir all set to liberalise trade relations


Formal import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) will start in 2015 as work to develop required infrastructure is in full swing, said Federal Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastagir while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday.

LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari presented the business community point of view while LCCI former presidents Bashir A Buksh, Iftikhar Ali Malik, Mian Anjum Nisar, Shahid Hassan Sheikh Muhammad Ali Mian and Irfan Qaiser Sheikh also spoke on the occasion.

The federal minister said that the import of the LNG would help supplement the government efforts to mitigate gas shortage in the country.

Citing the examples of China, Malaysia, Indonesia and India, the federal minister said that the progress and prosperity would remain a dream without liberalising the trade regime therefore strenuous efforts were being made to liberalise trade regime of the country. He, however, made it clear that all the future Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) would be done with a complete research and a proper homework.

Engineer Khurram Dastagir said that serious efforts were being done to overcome the challenges of extremism and energy shortage. He said that only because of these two issues the country could not get its due place in the international marketplace.

He said that the mistakes committed during 1994 to 2013 on the economic front were being rectified through a collective approach and a collective wisdom.

The minister said that work to generate electricity through coal was in advance stage as it was only way to get rid of costly thermal electricity. He said that the country energy mix would be reversed to ensure relief to the masses.

The LCCI president appreciated the government for giving required focus toward the economic issues. He said that the business community would continue to supplement government efforts aimed at progress and prosperity.

The LCCI president urged the minister to direct the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan to collaborate with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry before finalising its foreign delegations and exhibition in foreign destinations.

The LCCI president also called for early establishment of regional offices of Trade Organisations director general to facilitate the private sector.