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Pak committed to improve regional trade among SAARC countries: Punjab Governor


LAHORE: Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman has felicitated veteran business leader and Businessmen Panel (BMP) Chairman Mian Anjum Nisar on his election as the SAARC Chamber Vice President, expressing the hope that he would continue to exploit his potential for the promotion of regional trade in South Asia.

In a meeting with Mian Anjum Nisar, who met him here on Wednesday at Governor’s House along with a delegation of top businessmen, the Punjab Governor said that Mian Anjum Nisar would utilize his best abilities to bring closer the SAARC member states besides promoting regional trade.

Economic situation of the country and the problems faced by the businessmen associated with various industries were discussed in the meeting.

The Punjab Governor said that Pakistan is fully committed to improve regional trade among SAARC countries to make South Asia a prosperous and economically integrated region, as it is one of the most dynamic regions in the world.

The Governor said that the role of business community is vital for the economic uplift and stability of the country. He appreciated the role being played by the private sector, particularly the Businessmen Panel, in the country’s economic development.

The governor said that the strengthening of the country’s economy and promotion of trade and industry were the priorities of the government. He said that the government has steered the country’s economy out of the crisis by making sincere efforts. He said that the country’s economy was showing the signs of stability which bodes well for the development and prosperity of the country.

The Punjab Governor further said that Mian Anjum Nisar’s election as a vice president was a proof of his untiring efforts for the business community of the region, as the measures taken by him as a BMP Chairman and FPCCI President for the promotion of trade and industry speaks volumes of his business acumen.

He said the present government was fully committed to restoring peace and ensuring prosperity in the SAARC region and at the same time, Pakistan wants to maintain her foreign and trade relations with other countries on the basis of mutual respect.

On this occasion, SAARC chamber vice president Mian Anjum Nisar expressed his gratitude to the governor for this felicitation and said that with a view to ensuring trade facilitation in the region the problems regarding removal of trade barriers including acceptance of standard certificate, limitations of infrastructure in the land ports, should be removed.

Mian Anjum further said Pakistan always strives to make SAARC an important vehicle for regional cooperation based on principle of sovereign equality and still remained committed to SAARC objectives.

He also emphasized on restructuring production and export processes to improve trans-boundary trade in South Asia.

He said the intra-trade among SAARC countries continues to remain in the low range of just 5 percent of the total trade of the region while this trade in NAFTA region is over 40 percent, 68 percent in EU and 27 percent in ASEAN, laying emphasis on exploring the vast untapped trade potential in SAARC region.

The new vice president of SAARC CCI said that South Asia with its diversified resources and skilled workforce has tremendous potential to be the fastest-growing exporting region to the globe. Anjum Nisar said that other regional associations like EU, ASIAN, NAFTA are doing very well and they are getting regional benefits but it’s still unfortunate for us, that we couldn’t utilize SAARC till now. We have huge potential in the area of tourism, agriculture, fisheries, industries, human development and many more. It’s time we push the government of each country to seize the untapped opportunity in this region, he added.

The SCCI vice president said that it is imperative for all to draw lessons from the successes achieved by other regional agreements, and channel their experiences of regional identity and solidarity into our efforts to propel SAARC towards new heights. It is our responsibility to find innovative and sustainable solutions to these challenges, and to work together to create a brighter future for the people of our region, he opined. The priority will be given to enhance collaboration on sectors with high growth potential such as information technology, manufacturing, energy, tourism, and agribusiness that derive tangible results, he added. South Asia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. We have a lot of potential, but unfortunately, we are still lagging behind to seize all the opportunities, he said.

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