Arif Alvi Wants Pakistanis to Tap the Business Potential in Afghanistan

The President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, said that Pakistan wanted peace and stability in Afghanistan to unlock a business bonanza for Pakistan in the Central Asian states and that the business community should gear up to capitalize on these emerging opportunities.

He said this while addressing the 4th ICCI Business Excellence Awards Ceremony 2021 at the Aiwan-e-Sadr as a chief guest.

Dr. Alvi conferred awards and congratulated the recipients for their excellent achievements in various business fields. He said that the business community is driving Pakistan’s economic growth and the government is working to promote the ease of doing business for them.

The President also praised the business community for providing crucial support to the needy during the pandemic and recommended that their positive role should be highlighted in the media. He urged them to focus on Pakistan’s brand and to mentor women in entrepreneurship for their economic empowerment.

He also highlighted that the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) is a responsible chamber rendering great services to the business community and should set up a helpdesk for women and differently-abled persons to facilitate them in training and availing loans from banks.

Dr. Alvi remarked that Pakistan has great potential to promote the export of halal meat and IT products, and emphasized that the business community should exploit these potentials. He also touched upon the tourism potential and the importance of inclusive growth.

He stated that the government, with better policies, has set the economy in the right direction, and was confident that no one could stop Pakistan from emerging as a great nation.

In his welcome address, the President of the ICCI, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, said that the purpose of holding the ICCI 4th Business Excellence Awards Ceremony 2021 was to acknowledge and highlight the achievements of the companies and individuals that have achieved excellence in various fields of business and made significant contributions to Pakistan’s economic growth.

He lauded the government for reducing the import duties on the tourism sector that has the potential to generate USD 30-40 billion in revenue and emphasized that it should also relax the import duties on industrial technology and machinery to upgrade the industries to produce value-added products to boost exports.

Khan revealed that the ICCI could generate funds for an industrial estate and that the government should cooperate in acquiring land for it through Sec-42. He said an expo center in Islamabad should be established to promote trade and exports of this region.

He added that the self-assessment scheme could make a 25-30 percent increase in tax revenue, and stressed that the government should focus more on this scheme to reduce the trust deficit among the taxpayers.

The Chairman of the ICCI Founder Group, Mian Akram Farid, said that the federal capital is emerging as a city of entrepreneurs as 23 markets and 1,200 industries are operating there and are playing an important role in Pakistan’s economic development. He emphasized that the government should set up direct air links with potential markets that are important to promote the country’s trade and exports. He added that the government should work with banks to increase credit facilities for SMEs, which are the backbone of the economy.

Farid highlighted the importance of the Special Economic Zones and industrial estates in Islamabad and urged the government to cooperate with the ICCI in working on these vital projects. He also offered useful proposals to promote the tourism and agriculture sectors to improve the economy.