As many as 44 representatives of 25 countries visited the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday and had an interactive session with the private sector.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Kalabagh dam, regional trade, energy, women empowerment, Orange Line train project and bilateral trade with the African region were the topics that came under discussion.
LCCI President Abdul Basit said CPEC was a game changer for Pakistan. “CPEC is part of the One-Belt-One-Road plan to establish close land and maritime links among 60-plus countries across Asia and Europe,” he said.
“Its motivating force is prosperity and the partner countries are focusing on investment in our region. Once it is complete, it is estimated that the volume of trade among these countries will reach $2.5 trillion.”
The LCCI president said Gwadar Port was going to play a pivotal role in the development of western China, adding the development work going on in Pakistan in major areas like power sector, roads and railways had kick-started the process of economic recovery. These projects would accelerate investment, trade and economic growth in Pakistan, and will help stabilise the country, he maintained.
“We believe that greater success cannot be achieved without full participation of private sectors from both the countries, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.”
Basit said Pakistan government should ensure that companies of the country were given more opportunities to interact closely with Chinese firms so that there was a win-win situation for everyone.
LCCI Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan said the growing gap between revenue and expenditure had increased vulnerability of the fiscal framework, requiring the federal and provincial governments to tighten the belt.
Head of the delegation Brigadier Hammad spoke about the importance of private sector in economic turnaround of the country, while the visiting diplomats asked a number of questions ranging from economic situation of Pakistan to the role played by the LCCI.