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Workable policy needed for sustained economic growth in region: President FCCI

FAISALABAD, Jan 02 : President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain has said that the regional countries should formulate a workable policy for sustained economic growth in the wake of enhanced connectivity in the shape of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) coupled with restoration of peace in South Asia.

Addressing a ceremony on CPEC-Gateway to progress, Prosperity and Connectivity organized by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) here on Wednesday, Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain said that no doubt connectivity will spur economic opportunities but at the same time it will widen gap and competition between the developed and under developed countries of the region.

“In this disadvantageous situation, the under developed countries would have to harness their skills to compete with their developed neighbors”, he said and apprehended that they would become only a market for the surplus production of developed countries if they failed to improve their production sector.

The FCCI President told that there is hell of difference between the economic parameters of countries falling within this region and we must concentrate to upgrade the technologies of the under developed countries otherwise the scale of economy of china will badly effect the industry and SME sector of other countries.

Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain stressed the need for joint ventures with Chinese companies so that the issues of technology transfer and liquidity problem could be solved simultaneously. He told that China’s rapidly growing economy is expected to top the rest of the world’s economies by 2050.

He further said that “Belt and Road” is a big initiative for Pakistan. It includes many mega projects including 21st Century Maritime Silk Route, Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor,  China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor ,  China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor.

Continuing, the FCCI President told that Faisalabad’s GDP is projected to rise to US$ 37 billion in 2025 at a growth rate of 5.7% which is higher than the growth rates of 5.5% predicted for Karachi and 5.6% for Lahore. He further told that in the 7th meeting of Joint Cooperation Committee, it was agreed that the contents and vision of CPEC would be expanded and three more pillars including Agriculture, Poverty alleviation, and People to People exchanges would be added to the existing four pillars, which are energy, infrastructure, transport and railway, and Gwadar Port.

He further told that realizing the opportunities and challenges of CPEC, the FCCI has constituted a special Standing Committee on CPEC which had published a comprehensive Study Report on ‘CPEC-Opportunities and Challenges’ in mid of 2017’. A Chinese Help Desk has also been set up at FCCI in addition to arranging Chinese Language Courses for the FCCI members intending to deal with china in the fast changing regional environment.

Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain said that there are new opportunities are also cropping up for the Chinese Companies to launch Joint ventures and double trading opportunities particularly in Agriculture machinery and equipment, Establishment of recreational clubs and facility, Hotel construction, Solar Technology and Solar Cell Industry, Technical Testing Facilities, Livestock and Dairy Development. Milk processing, Fruits, Vegetables & Flowers Grading, Packing and processing etc. He told that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) also brings huge opportunities for Faisalabad due to its close proximity with the Eastern Route of CPEC.

Earlier, President Faisalabad Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FWCCI) Robeena Amjad said that that Pakistan is strategically located in South Asian part of the continent which is the only option to link china with rest of the world including oil rich countries of Gulf and Arabia. She further said that we have to re-align our priorities to get maximum economic benefit from this modern Silk Road.

Robeena Amjad said that we have to involve our SME sector in this mega project of CPEC, which could grow through value addition and accreditation of technology in the years to come. She further suggested that we must explore ways and means to involve the 50% female population in productive economic activities. She told that FWCCI has already launched an aggressive sensitization program to convince Women Entrepreneurs and activists to be a part of this modern Silk Rout as unlimited opportunities are waiting for them under this project.

The meeting was also attended by Head of ACCA Pakistan Mr. Sajjeed Aslam, Head Central Region Mr. Muhammad Shahid Khan, Business Development Manager Faisalabad Mr. Shah Muhammad Khan, Senior Vice President FWCCI Miss Haniya Javaid and Vice President Miss Urwa Nabeel.

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