President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said China has decided to invest $410 billion in different sectors of the Iranian economy.
The repercussions of the Chinese decision to invest in energy, infrastructure, and manufacturing would be felt globally and it will add to tensions between Washington and Beijing, he said. The move will secure the Chinese economy, strengthen the Iranian economy, increase its influence at the regional and global levels and escalate the insecurity among Arab nations.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that China was uneasy over slow progress on CPEC and the cold attitude of our government to please IMF which prompted them to look for alternatives. Moreover, China is dependent on energy supplies from the countries which are considered part of American block which is a threat to its security.
He said that the power equation in the Middle East will be changed and Iran can effectively play its role in various countries including Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.
The former minister noted that investment in Iran was considered an alternative to CPEC and Beijing believes that it would be immune of American, Indian and Arab influence. He said that close ties can stabilize the Iranian economy as China can buy its entire oil and gas production even if production is doubled while new gas pipeline could also be laid down.
Chinese leadership can also establish a naval base at Iranian port of Chahbahar in which India has invested heavily, he noted. He said that Pakistan could have attracted the investment by avoiding cold attitude and continuity in cordial relations with the important neighbour.
Saudi oil facility attack termed 9/11 of the energy world, may shatter economy of Pakistan: Zahid Hussain
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the crisis in the middle east can destabilize the whole world if it is allowed to continue. It can also wipe out all the gains achieved by Pakistan on the economic front as an attack on the most important oil facility in the world is being dubbed as 9/11 of the energy world, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that attack on Saudi oil facility has disrupted five percent supply but prices jumped 19.5 percent and if tensions continued it can result in a global crisis.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Saudi oil production has been reduced by 5.7 million barrel per day while the kingdom has not announced any date for resumption of operations which has added to the anxiety.
The former minister noted that tensions can hit oil importing countries hitting their forex reserves, import bill, balance of payments, prices and currency. He said that an increase of five dollars in the oil price will increase the oil import bill for Pakistan by 1.25 billion dollars as our 26 percent imports are oil-based.
The veteran business leader said that tight monetary policy and other initiatives have reduced the current account deficit by 73 percent, foreign exchange reserves have been stabilized, number of filers has jumped to 2.5 million, energy theft has been reduced, imports are going down while exports are gaining momentum which can be reversed. The defense budget saw a freeze but non-developmental expenditure has not been capped while tax collection has been improved, he added.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that bleeding companies should be sold, harassment of the business community should be stopped, circular debt has touched the mark of Rs1.7 trillion while monthly Rs38 billion is adding in it which is a threat. He said that IMF’s delegation has arrived but the government should not accept any new conditions as masses and business community cannot take more punishment. Laudable steps have not been taken to boost exports which will keep the economy in ICU unless exports are increased by ten billion dollars.
Mian Zahid demands steps to end pessimism in masses, business community
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday demanded steps to end pessimism in masses and business community through result-oriented intervention.
Current account deficit has been reduced during the last two months which has supported foreign exchange reserves to some extent but it isn’t enough, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that growth and production in the industrial sector is on the decline, textile, general industry and large scale manufacturing is in tatters, auto production has been halved, agriculture, textile, services, local and foreign investment, and stock exchange are facing problems while other sectors are also going down.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that exports are not picking up and borrowing continues to increase which is hurting the GDP.
The former minister noted that prices of many necessities has been increased by 123 percent, the gas price has increased by 143 percent in one year, power tariff has increased by 12 percent, petrol is now 23 percent dearer, unemployment has jumped by 5 percent, medicines have become costly up to 200 percent, health facilities are seven percent expensive and education has become expansive by 7 percent.
He said that inflation has broken the back of masses and it is generally believed that the situation will go from bad to worse as economic realities cannot be kept hidden from the masses who are facing it on daily basis. The masses who were pinning hopes on the government to improve the situation in record time has deteriorated it million have lost jobs and businesses.
He said that power loom owners in four districts of Punjab have decided to go on strike, car dealers of Lahore have planned to lay siege to Governor House, hospitals have no medicine and vaccines leading to deaths which has infuriated masses.
The economic realities have swept away the optimism of masses and their disappointment, as well as frustration, is increasing by the day.