Lahore chamber of commerce and industry [LCCI] seminar on “Peaceful Pakistan – Prosperous Pakistan” held today at Lahore, dream of economic development, progress and prosperity cannot be realized without maintaining peace. Agitation and dharnas will push the country back besides denting its soft image at the global level therefore politicians should show the maturity
This was crux of the speeches delivered at a seminar on “Peaceful Pakistan – Prosperous Pakistan” organized by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Thursday. Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest while the LCCI President Abdul Basit, Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan, former LCCI President Iftikhar Ali Malik, General Secretary , Anjuman-e-Tajran Pakistan Naeem Mir, President Anjuman-e-Tajran, All Pakistan Khalid Pervaiz, President Anjuman-e-Tajran Rawalpindi Ajmal Baloch, Chairman APTMA Aamir Fayyaz Sheikh were the key speakers amongst the others. Former LCCI President Bashir A. Baksh, Mian Misbah-ur-Rehman, Muhammad Ali Mian, Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Farooq Iftikhar, Engineer Sohail Lashari, former Seior Vice Presidents Malik Tahir Javed, Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, former Vice President Nasir Saeed, Executive Committee Members and over 400 businessmen from across the Punjab were present on the occasion.
Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif said that nothing could be more important than maintenance of peace but unfortunately some political elements are trying to create anarchy that is nothing else but to fulfill the agenda of the enemies. He said that CPEC agreement was due to be signed in 2014 but Chinese president cancelled his visit because of dharna. If the CPEC project started in 2014, a number of projects were near to completion. The chief minister said that the elements, who are doing the politics of agitation, want to derail the country and hindering the Pakistan’s journey towards progress and prosperity. He said that all conspiracies to damage China Pakistan Economic Corridor would be dealt with iron hands. He said that economy and energy availability situation is far better than the past. He said that work on a number of power projects is well on the way and after the completion, sufficient energy would be available.
“Living nations counter all challenges with courage and determination and the same spirit will have to be adopted to put the country on road to progress and development”, Shahbaz Sharif added.
The LCCI President Abdul Basit said that no one can deny the importance of peace for economic growth. He said that unrest and bad law and order badly affect the trade & economic activities and investment climate. At present when country facing hard challenges, it cannot afford the politics of agitation. He said that economic indicators are continuously getting better since 2013 and international institutions are validating the good performance of Pakistan’s economy. While giving an overview, Abdul Basit said that total foreign exchange reserves were around $ 11 billion in 2013 that have reached to the unprecedented level of $ 24 billion. Markup rate came down to 5.75% from 9.5% in 2013. Likewise inflation rate is also at the lowest, investment has been risen to $ 11,281 million and unemployment has been decreased to 5.9% from 6.2%. He said that GDP and per capita income of Pakistan are also growing. He said that law & order and load shedding situation is far better than the past. He said that at present entire world is monitoring the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and a number of countries want to be part of it. He said that the elements, who are trying to hinder this process of economic development, are causing irreparable loss to the trade, industry and the nation.
The LCCI Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan thanked the business community for participating in this important seminar and said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry would continue its efforts in the larger interest of the economy.
Former LCCI President Iftikhar Ali Malik said that peace and stability always reflect on economic development, which is lifeline for any realm. It has direct, long-term effects on the creation of a solid and competitive economic environment therefore all segments of society including politicians should play their role for the wellbeing of the country.
Central Chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Amir Fayyaz also called for peace and harmony for the sake of economic development. He said that political agitation would keep the foreign investors and buyers away from Pakistan therefore they should resolve their issues through parliament.
Naeem Mir and Khalid Pervez said that protests and dharnas are the economical murder of the business community and millions of workers. He said that dharna mafia is fulfilling the intentions of Pakistan’s enemies but the business community will protect the national interests at any cost.
On the occasion, businessmen also passed a resolution saying that traders are patriotic and would not hesitate to sacrifice for the country’s integrity and stability. Businessmen would vigorously supplement the government efforts for economic uplift of the country, will extend cooperation to the government for peace, strictly condemn the politics of vested interest and would not tolerate any attempt to hit the trade, industry and investment. At the end Convener CPEC Study Group, Punjab University Dr. Hafiz Zafar given a presentation on CPEC.