LAHORE: All the leading banks on Wednesday assured Governor Punjab of their full support to the second LCCI OIC Ambassadors’ Conference scheduled for April 2014. The Provincial heads of all the banks gave assurance to the Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar during a meeting held here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari threw light on the objective of OIC Ambassadors Conference while Vice President Kashif Anwar, former LCCI President Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Chairman LCCI OIC Committee Husnain Reza Mirza, Vice Chairman Mehmood Ghaznavi, Executive Committee Members Iftikhar Bashir Chaudhry and Mudassar Masood Chaudhry also spoke on the occasion.
The Governor Punjab, who is also patron-in-chief of Second LCCI OIC Ambassadors Conference, stressed the need for devising short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies to jack up volume of trade with the Islamic world.
He said that Pakistan has a huge potential to do business with the Islamic countries but unfortunately the desired results could not be achieved because of lack of communication and awareness.
The Governor said that the OIC countries were doing little business with each other in comparison to what they are doing with the rest of the world. He said that there was a need to bring these countries with each other and the LCCI initiative would go a long way in achieving the goal.
Citing the example of surgical goods, the Governor said that there were no two opinions that in quite a few sectors Pakistan was a leader and producing best of the best in the world but the exports of these goods are very little. He said that this makes the point that we would have to redesign our marketing strategy to get our share of the global trade.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that the current level of trade among the OIC countries was disappointing despite the fact that OIC member countries have religious, cultural ties and similarities and huge potential for trade. He said that the population of OIC Countries is one fourth of the total population of the world while their share in total volume of the trade is less than 10 per cent.
The objective of the 2nd LCCI OIC Ambassadors Conference was to identify the impediments to trade and escalate work on dismantling tariff and non-tariff barriers that are stalling growth in trade and investment. He said that there is huge potential for increasing the share of the intra-OIC trade to address the issues of poverty, low economic growth and investment in the member states provided the problems restricting interaction and cooperation between private sectors of the member states are removed.
He said that it was very unfortunate that a majority of the Muslim countries prefer trade with other countries than OIC states.
“Improvement in trade within the OIC group can be a lot beneficial for the weaker economies.” “Muslim countries do not trade with each other or invest in each other’s economies as they do with the industrialized and developed countries.
The Provincial Chiefs of MCB, Albaraka Bank, HBL, BOP, SILK Bank, Faysal Bank, Deutsche Bank, Bank Al Habib, Meezan Bank, Bank Alfalah, Askari Bank, ZTBL, First Women Bank and Abdullah Enterprises were present on the occasion.