FAISALABAD: Textile-centric policies with a focused approach on enhancing exports are imperative for economic revival of Pakistan, said Engineer Muhammad Saeed newly-elected president of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI).

Delivering his first speech during Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the FCCI here on Sunday, he discussed prevailing economic scenario and said that although other segments are also contributing their role in the uplift of national economy but the contribution of textile alone is 55 per cent and we could only rely on this segment for the stabilization of national economy. He also touched upon the widening gap between national imports and exports and said that foreign remittance had played a major role in bridging this gap but in the changed international scenario the foreign remittance are also depleting gradually. He said that the focus of our economic policies must be on enhancing exports. He urged upon the government to reprioritize its agenda and all policies should be made textile-friendly. He appreciated the efforts of the FCCI to send trade delegations to different potential international markets and said that he would continue this practice in a bid to increase our exports.

Sheikh Muhammad Saeed was also appreciative of the agreements inked during recent visit of the Chief Minister Punjab to China and said that we should attract maximum foreign investment by providing business-friendly climate within the country. He said that it is surprising that Pakistani exports have access to only 50 out of 196 countries.

“It means that the 75 per cent international markets are still unexplored and are waiting for Pakistani exports to fill the vacuum in their country”, he said and urged upon the Pakistani exporters to improve the quality of their products in changing international environment so that we could compete with the developed countries.

He said that government should also realize its duties and take immediate steps to reduce the cost of doing-business in Pakistan. He said that the government and private sectors have better understanding and they should sit together to play their role for the expeditious stabilization of national economy.

“This is imperative as government will have sufficient resources with enhanced economic activity to solve the social problems of the country in addition to providing health and education cover to masses.

Commenting on the energy deficit, he said that situation has improved satisfactorily. The major industrial units are getting uninterrupted gas and electricity but our current issue is availability of cheap electricity and gas. He announced to hold a national energy conference to resolve this issue on permanent basis.

Continuing, Engineer Muhammad Saeed said that the textile exporters of Faisalabad are earning 6 billion dollars per annum and he will arrange export trophy award for the best exporters from the platform of FCCI. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be invited to distribute the awards which will be an encouragement to the local exporters. He also expressed his reservation about zero rating of textile sector and said that still exporters are paying taxes in different shapes.

Engineer Muhammad Saeed also thanked his group leaders for his uncontested election as President FCCI and hoped that his colleagues will also cooperate with him to resolve the problems confronted by the business community of Faisalabad during his tenure.

Earlier, retiring President Chaudhary Muhammad Nawaz explained in detail his year-long performance and said that issues have not yet been fully resolved and new office-bearers have to work day and night to make Pakistan economically stable and strong.

Mian Muhammad Idrees of National Group in his brief address thanked the out-going office-bearers and welcomed the newly-elected office-bearers.

He said that Engineer Muhammad Saeed is a visionary leader. “He fully understand the complications of various economic issues”, said Mian Adreees adding that he also have full resolve to settle the issues amicably and with mutual consultation. However, he said that the FCCI standing committees should be make fully functional in order to improve the overall working of FCCI.

A resolution was moved by veteran trade leader Sheikh Ashfaq Ahmed condemning the atrocities in Indian held Kashmir and expressing full unity with the armed forces of Pakistan. Later, Mian Muhammad Idrees and Mian Javed Iqbal distributed shields.