PAF Air War College delegation visits KCCI

PAF Air War College delegation visits KCCI

PAF Air War College delegation visits KCCI
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PAF Air War College delegation visits KCCI

KARACHI: A delegation comprising senior officers of PAF Air War College led by Air Vice Marshal Hussain Ahmed Siddiqui visited the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) who were briefed about the role being played by Karachi’s business community in the overall economic development of the country and how KCCI, being the largest and most vibrant chamber, has been struggling really hard to get the issues resolved and ensure an enabling business environment by frequently holding discussions with policy and decision makers.

Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Zubair Motiwala (Via Zoom Facility), President KCCI Shariq Vohra, Senior Vice President Saqib Goodluck, Vice President KCCI Shamsul Islam Khan, Former Vice President Muhammad Idrees, Chairman Communication Subcommittee Qazi Zahid Hussain and KCCI Managing Committee Members attended the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Leader of the delegation Air Vice Marshal Hussain Ahmed Siddiqui appreciated KCCI for providing the opportunity to PAF Air War College delegation to have access to firsthand information about Karachi Chamber, challenges being faced by Pakistan’s economy and the industrialists and their workforce who were an important element for creating a vibrant economy.

He said that no military instrument is viable without a vibrant economy and no nation can survive or expand its military without the support from a vibrant economy. The most important factor behind the success of any enterprise was stable governance and policies internally and externally also. A stable policy built upon after consultation with all stakeholders will only provide stability in terms of economy and industrialization, he added.

He was of the opinion that industrialization will never happen without educating the youth which was 60 percent of the population and without the patronage of good governance. Whatever challenges were being faced by the economy in terms of foreign exchange reserves and in terms of GDP cannot be conquered without a stable and expansive industrialization from small scale enterprise to large scale manufacturing which has to take place on the long-term basis. 

Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, who joined the meeting via zoom, pointed out that 1947 to 1958 was the era when Pakistan was flying high as its GDP was soaring and the competitors looked at this country as an Asian tiger and a country to study. Consequently, many countries learned from Pakistan during this era and it was a time when Pakistan even gave loan to Germany. All these countries developed their economies with the passage of time whereas Pakistan’s economy, which suffered badly due to recession after nationalization in 1971, kept going down. “We should learn from our neighboring countries so that our economy could be pulled out of crises on a sustainable basis”, he added.

He was of the view that heavy imports particularly from China was the major issue being suffered by the country as the total imports from China alone stood at US$12.49 billion last year. It was really essential for the government to rethink the existing strategies and come up with a policy that practically reduces the size of the imports.

He advised the government that any product which was being imported in Pakistan at a cost of US$2 billion, the foreign manufacturer of such a product should be approached, facilitated and fully encouraged to set up production units in Pakistan through joint ventures which would help curtailing the trade deficit, create employment opportunities and ensure transfer of technologies, besides proving favorable for manufacturers who will be able to save expenditures on exorbitant logistics charges on exporting goods to Pakistan. These goods manufactured within Pakistan by foreign companies through joint ventures can be supplied not only to the lucrative Pakistani market but also to the entire region.

Earlier, while welcoming the PAF Air War College delegation, President KCCI Shariq Vohra underscored that in order to pull the economy out of crises and to promote industrialization, the government must implement long term policies instead of taking ad-hoc measures.

He further stated that SME sector in Pakistan suffers badly due to lack access to finance and they face a number of restraints due to fluctuating economy. As per survey conducted by KCCI on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on business, it was revealed that during the pandemic, loans were offered under different support packages to big organizations only as they were able to present collaterals and meet other eligibility requirements whereas the SMEs was ignored during this critical period.

He was of the view that Pakistan’s inclusion in Amazon sellers list was a great news which would not only boost the exports but will also generate enormous opportunities particularly for youth and SMEs who would have access to numerous international markets.

He further mentioned that 68 percent of Pakistan’s population was engaged in agricultural farming either directly or indirectly through production, processing, or distribution of major agricultural commodities. As agriculture sector contributes 21% to GDP and was a major source of supplying food to huge population of Pakistan, it was really important to take measures for enhancing the productivity of this important sector through crop diversification, efficient use of water resources, use of latest technologies and equipment along with offering low mark-up rates and agricultural credit facilities for farmers.

President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Shariq Vohra presenting crest to Air Vice Marshal Hussain Ahmed Siddiqui during the visit of a delegation comprising senior officers of PAF Air War College to KCCI. Senior Vice President Saqib Goodluck, Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan, Former Vice President Muhammad Idrees, Chairman Communication Subcommittee Qazi Zahid Hussain and Former Senior Vice President Arshad Islam are also seen in the picture.