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The Nation

Published Date: Nov 14, 2017

CoE to be presented for revival of economy: ICCI

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has expressed concern over the growing fiscal and external imbalances that could threaten the economic growth of the country.
President of ICCI , Sheikh Amir Waheed said on Monday that the ICCI had geared up efforts to develop a Charter of Economy (CoE) in partnership with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) that would be presented to the political parties for revival of economy .
He said that though the economic growth of Pakistan has improved but as cautioned by the World Bank’s biannual report, the internal and external imbalances due to rising fiscal deficit could jeopardize the hard-earned economic growth and stability. He said the main reasons of these imbalances are Pakistan’s poor export performance and rising debt burden and stressed that government should take strong policy measures to facilitate the private sector in promoting exports.
He urged that government should also focus on revenue mobilization through broadening of tax net instead of resorting to heavy borrowings as rising debt burden would pose many problems to the economy in future.
The ICCI President said as per World Bank report, Pakistan’s exports of goods over the period from 2005 to 2016 rose from $16.5 billion to $20.4 billion showing an increase of just 27.3 percent whereas exports of Bangladesh during this period increased by 276 percent, Vietnam’s 445 percent and India’s 165 percent. This showed that Pakistan’s export performance remained quite poor as compared to regional countries.
Sheikh Amir Waheed said Pakistan’s share in global export market has declined over the years while the share of Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand have doubled and stressed that government should take drastic measures to improve export competitiveness to turn around the dwindling exports.
The ICCI President said that Pakistan’s worsening macroeconomic conditions and heavy reliance on short-term foreign commercial loans could also create repayment issues for the country in future and government should take private sector on board and make a new strategy in consultation with business community to steer the economy out of challenges.
He was of the view that effective economic reforms would also improve Pakistan’s ranking on Ease of Doing Business Index as well.
Sheikh Amir Waheed said that the Charter of Economy shall help the political parties in setting manifestoes for the next general elections in light of the recommendations presented by the private sector of Pakistan to increase productivity, improve exports, mobilize more revenue and accelerate the economic growth of the country.