President Mamnoon Hussain Thursday said that the stability of the national economy was government’s foremost priority for which the government was extending all possible facilities to the business community.
Addressing the annual dinner of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry held here, the President said the reduction of power tariff by Rs 3 per unit for industrial sector was also part of this facilitation process. President Mian Humayun Pervaiz and office bearers of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ambassador of Argentine and other envoys from different countries attended the event.The President said the government was in constant contact with the business community to help address all the issues through mutual cooperation and stabilize the national economy. He said the country’s exports have witnessed increase consequent to the facilities extended by the government to the business community.
He said the traders could take country’s exports to a remarkable level in international market by benefiting from the facilities and steps taken by the government.
President Mamnoon said that the Ministry of Commerce had approved a three-year policy framework after consultation with all stakeholders adding that the objective of this framework was to promote the business activities to bring an end to the unemployment and uplift the national economy.
He said the restoration of law and order was inevitable for economic stability and enhancing trade activities in the country. He said that the action was being taken to eliminate terrorism and reiterated the government’s resolve to continue the Operation Zarb-e-Azb till peace was restored completely and terrorism was uprooted.
The President said like improving law and order, resolution of energy crisis was also among government’s priorities to stabilize the national economy. He said construction of dams had been started and the government was also taking full advantage of the solar energy. Besides, two out of four atomic power plants had also started generating power, he added.
The President said that the severity of the energy crisis has subsided owing to these power projects and hoped that as a result of these projects issue of power crisis would be resolved within next two years.
President Mamnoon said that the government had signed free trade agreements with various countries and that there are also mutual trade agreements with neighboring countries adding that the business community should benefit from all these agreements to boost country’s exports. He said that the recent 21 percent increase in exports to the European Union was very encouraging and also emphasized the exploration of new markets. The President advised the traders and industrialists to also include Central Asian and African countries in their priorities besides traditional markets.
The President referred to his visits to Nigeria and Azerbaijan and said during the visits cooperation in different areas of mutual interest including the defence production was discussed. He said Nigeria has expressed its desire to buy Pakistani defence products including the JF-17 Thunder and Mashaq aircraft.
The President said Azerbaijan will also soon become the buyer of Pakistani products. He said Azerbaijan which does now allow the foreign banks having less than $ 50 million as equity to operate in their country allowed the National Bank of Pakistan that had $ 10 million of equity, to operate in Azerbaijan on his request. The President said the exporters should benefit from such friendly countries.