Economic stability govt’s foremost priority: President

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 7 (APP): President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday said that the stability of the national economy was government’s foremost priority and it was extending all possible facilities to the business community for that purpose.

Addressing the annual dinner of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) here, the President said the reduction of power tariff by Rs 3 per unit for industrial sector was also part of this facilitation process.

The Ambassador of Argentine, envoys from different countries, and  RCCI President Mian Humayun Pervaiz along with other office-bearers attended the event.

The President said the government was in constant contact with the business community to address all the issues through mutual cooperation.

He said the country’s exports had witnessed increase consequent to the facilities extended by the government to the business community.

He said the traders could take the exports to a remarkable level in international market by benefiting from the facilities and steps taken by the government.

President Mamnoon said the commerce ministry had approved a three-year policy framework after consultation with all the stakeholders. The objective of this framework was to promote the business activities for ending unemployment and uplifting 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 the operation was in process to eliminate terrorists 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 likewise law and order, resolution of the energy crisis was also among the government’s priorities to stabilize the national economy.

Construction of dams had been started and the government was also taking full advantage of the solar energy.  Besides, two of four atomic power plants had also started generating power, he added.

The President said the severity of the energy crisis had subsided owing to these power projects which gave hope for the country to get rid of the power problem within next two years.

President Mamnoon said the government had signed free trade agreements with various countries while mutual trade accords with neighbouring countries were also in place.

He urged the business community to benefit from all these agreements to boost the exports.

The recent 21 percent increase of exports with the European Union was also encouraging, he added and emphasized on 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.

He referred to his visits to Nigeria and Azerbaijan, during which cooperation in different areas of mutual interest, including the defence production, was discussed.

He said Nigeria had expressed its desire to buy Pakistani defence products, including the JF-17 Thunder and Mashaq aircraft.

The President said Azerbaijan would also soon become the buyer of Pakistani products.

He said Azerbaijan, which did not allow foreign banks having less than $ 50 million as equity to operate in the country, permitted the National Bank of Pakistan with $ 10 million equity, to start operations on his request.

The exporters should benefit from such friendly countries, the President said.