(March 22, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said that Pakistan is the second state after Madina which came into being in the name of Islam. Muslims of the sub-continent has found a track of efforts since the Resolution of Pakistan passed on March 23, 1940 and that lead to the creation of Pakistan on August 14, 1947. Armed forces, Religious scholars, Public Institutions and Business Community have played vital role for strengthening defence and economy of the Country.
The Veteran Business Leader told the business community that Pakistan is going through a challenging phase of economy where everyone despite of their differences should collectively play their role for the betterment of trade, economy and industry in the Country. The most challenging period has passed; now economic indicators are becoming positive, however the destination of economic stability is still away for which the government is need to take practical measures in consultation with experts of trade and economy. In comparison to simultaneous period of last fiscal year remittances have increased by 12 percent to $ 14 billion in the first eight months of current fiscal year, current account deficit has declined by 72 % to $ 356 million while trade deficit has decreased by 11 percent to $ 24 billion. Trade deficit has declined by reduction in imports instead of increased exports. Increasing exports is still a big challenge for the current government, for which effective measures are required. To boost exports, reduction in utility tariff, duties on imports of raw material and promissory bonds to compensate refunds of exporters are supportive measures while developing of livestock sector is vital to strengthen agriculture industry.
The Former Minister said that financial support from friendly countries has relieved the stress over foreign reserves and ended the economic uncertainty, however, foreign direct investment has decreased by 22 percent to $ 1.6 billion and FDI in export sector is minimal, which needs immediate attention. Investment from China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Malaysia and Turkey will help in reducing unemployment while several sectors including energy, renewable energy, hotel, tourism and other allied industry.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that bilateral ties between Pakistan and Malaysia will boost with visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad. During the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Malaysia, it was decided to modify the FTA between both countries in Pakistan’s favour while $ 1 billion investment in Pakistan is expected during this visit of Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad. The then Pakistani high commissioner Nafees Zakaria has played important role in building trade ties between both countries. Pakistan’s envoys should play their part in boosting international trade so that the dream of economically strengthen Islamic welfare state comes true.