Trade: (ICCI for timely establishment of SEZ under CPEC in Islamabad)

ISLAMABAD: Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) 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 boost to industrial activities in the region and contribute to improving country’s exports.

He said this while exchanging views with with Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry during a meeting with him along with a delegation. Mohammad Naveed Senior Vice President ICCI, Zubair Ahmed Malik Chairman Founder Group and Malik Sohail Hussain Chief Coordinator FPCCI 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 Program (EHP) and stressed that more focus should be given on industrial cooperation in the second phase to promote industrialization in the country.

He said local industry should get better opportunities in SEZs that would be set up in the second phase. He said the business community has pinned lot of hopes from CPEC and emphasized that the modernization of local industry should be the main component of the LTP in order to transform Pakistan into an industrialized country at par with other developed countries.

Speaking at the occasion, Iftikhar Ali, Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Chairman United Business Group assured that he would convey the demand of ICCI for establishment of SEZ in Islamabad to the relevant authorities.

He said the CPEC was a game changer for Pakistan and the LTP has created lot of positives for Pakistan and it 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 tourism.

He said apart from industrial cooperation, the LTP would also modernize Pakistan’s agriculture sector as new agro-based technologies, seeds, and irrigation mechanism would be introduced.

He stressed that the enterprises from China and Pakistan should be given enhanced role in the LTP so that joint ventures and partnerships between the private sectors of Pakistan and China could be materialized to create economic benefits for both countries and for the region.