FPCCI urges ICCIA to work for enhancement of trade among members

KARACHI, Jul 18 (APP):The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Monday said the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture ICCIA should work towards enhancement of trade among its members to capitalize on mutual strengths.

The 57-country alliance represented an enormous collective gross domestic product (GDP) of $7 trillion while the trade between Islamic countries stood only at 17.5 percent of their total trade, FPCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said.

Representing Pakistan at 38th General Assembly of the alliance to discuss issues of trade, investments, economy and B2B relations, he said ICCIA was the most significant alliance for Pakistan to enhance its exports, attract foreign direct investment and remittances.

FPCCI chief pointed out that Pakistan should focus on enhancing its exports to OIC countries in value-added textiles, leather products, footwear, handicrafts, sports goods, pharmaceuticals, surgical goods, gems , jewelry, rice, fruits and vegetables and construction materials.

He emphasized Pakistan should capitalize on people-to-people, business-to-business and chamber-to-chamber contacts, and translate them into government-to-government contacts aimed at increasing trade, investment and economic cooperation tangibly.

FPCCI president said that one of the most pivotal opportunities with ICCIA countries for Pakistan was to export skilled and semi-skilled human resources to these countries and there is a potential to export as many as 2 million additional manpower to these countries.

He expressed his profound concerns over the increasing energy and power prices in Pakistan and its fast increasing demand of the same. He sought assistance from the oil-rich and economically sound brotherly Islamic countries to come forward and help Pakistan in this hour of need as they had done on many critical occasions in the past.

He said Pakistan was directly affected by any social or economic issues faced by Afghanistan; and Muslim Ummah should collectively help Afghanistan to come out of food shortages, meet healthcare needs, tackle unemployment, build basic infrastructure and create enabling environment for economic growth.

FPCCI President proposed that OIC should organize trade fairs and exhibitions at various levels, i.e. across ICCIA, single-country exhibitions and sectorial fairs as well.

He noted with a sigh of relief that this is possible now as most of the COVID-related restrictions have been lifted.

FPCCI chief also attended 33rd Board of Directors meeting of ICCIA.