'Govt committed to promoting economic activities'
11 October, 2012
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said the government was committed to creating conducive environment for economic activities in the country, and was undertaking every possible step to make the country an attractive destination for investors and businessmen as well as promote greater regional trade.
He said this while talking to a delegation of Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), headed by Ambassador Benedicto V Yujuico, president of the confederation, which called on him at the Presidency.
The president said Pakistan considered regional trade integration a major tool for socio-economic development of the region and in this regard CACCI could play a crucial role in promoting greater coordination among chambers of commerce, business associations and enterprises in Asia and Western Pacific.
He appreciated CACCI for its important role in economic development through policy advocacy, encouraging entrepreneurs and business managers in member countries, establishing business networks and training of the business community.
The president emphasised that greater coordination among business entities of regional countries would help persuade respective governments to adopt business-friendly policies and further promote business and trade in the region. He said Pakistan had been making strenuous efforts for greater regional linkages in trade and commerce through enhanced connectivity and facilitation of the business community. He said significant progress had been made in strengthening regional cooperation aimed at harnessing available potential in the Asia Pacific and SAARC countries.
Zardari also mentioned liberalisation of trade with India and the signing of Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement, saying Pakistan was keen to enhance the scope of transit trade agreement to the Central Asian Republics for mutual benefit of all.
On domestic front, he said the government had introduced various policy measures that were are aimed at maximum facilitation of local as well as foreign business communities. He said besides geo-strategic location to serve the huge markets of over three billion in the neighbourhood, Pakistan offered huge incentives to the business community. The president said only last month he had signed a bill into law that sought to ensure continuity of incentives to entrepreneurs, under which all capital goods, machinery and equipment would be given one-time exemption from customs duties and entrepreneurs would also be exempted from income tax for 10 years.
He said the government was aware of the business community's concerns regarding energy shortage and law and order situation and was taking every effort to address these issues.