Despite being the federating
members of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
all the chambers of commerce and industry are working individually
without having any liaison amongst themselves to collectively serve the
economic interest of the country.
Realizing the gap, the two
leading chambers of the country - Karachi Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (KCCI) and Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) -
have decided to join hands to work together for the larger economic
interest and achieve better results.
The financially strong clout of
the trade and industry unfortunately concentrated to achieve individual
economic gains, which produced comparatively limited results.
The fragmentation especially on
the production side does not allow Pakistan to compete larger business
contracts in the international export market due to lack of production
on the economic scale. Collective efforts are required to productively
use the available national resources and achieve a respectable status as
has been done by China and being followed by India.
In this connection, for the
first time, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and
Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) have taken initiative
and decided to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) soon for close
collaboration on the issues of vital national importance and to
cooperate with each other in more efficient way.
The decision in this regard was
taken at a meeting by the newly elected KCCI President Haroon Farooqui
and LCCI President Mian Shafqat Ali. LCCI Vice President Aftab Ahmad,
former President Mian Misbahur Rehman, former Vice President Sheikh
Mohmmad Arshad were also present on the occasion.
It seems that the harmony
developed at all tiers in society following earthquake is a highly
positive development and it is now up to the opinion leaders in
different walks of life to capitalize by directing the zeal and spirit
on the track leading towards collective goals for the good of society.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI
President Mian Shafqat Ali said that at this point of time when the
industry, commerce, trade and services sectors are feeling elevated
because of their contribution to the GDP of the country, the MoU between
the chambers would be highly useful.
The agreement between the two
leading chambers of the country would contribute substantially in
development of mutual trust and understanding of problems relating to
trade and industry located in both the cities. He said that it was a
dire need to take collective stand to safeguard the interest of business
community and the MOU would strengthen our resolve to serve the business
community in a much better way especially in dealing with current
problems relating to Sales Tax, Income Tax and Customs.
While briefing about the
working of LCCI Research and Development Department, the LCCI President
informed that the Research & Development Department has been divided
into three main sections i.e. Research, Development and International
Affairs. The Research Section is preparing reports on different sectors
of the economy to provide up to date information through Quarterly
Economic Outlook, Monthly Newsletter, and Country Profiles and sector
specific report. The Development Section is taking care of Standing
Committee formed on different sectors of trade and industry.
The Lahore Chamber also
undertakes community welfare initiatives and has to its credit two
self-sustaining projects; Shalimar Hospital and Lahore Businessmen
Association for Rehabilitation of Disabled (LABARD). He said that
Shalimar Hospital set up in 1982 has now more than 350-bed capacity. It
is within its fold around 100 qualified doctors on its payroll and is
visited by 70 highly qualified consultants. Its OPD is providing basic
health assistance to around 1000 patients daily. It also has the only
state of art Burns Center in Lahore.
Another project by the name of
LABARD is also being looked after by the LCCI. It acts not only as a
placement body for the disabled sections of society, but also provides
relevant training to the young minds in an effort to rehabilitate them.
The organization has been able to finalize training programs in computer
studies with renowned software houses like Microsoft during the recent
years. Its current registration of disabled persons is 2700 and it has
arranged jobs placement for about 1000 persons. Speaking on the
occasion, KCCI President Haroon Farooqui said that the MOU between the
LCCI and KCCI would give further boost to the inter chamber interaction
and cement the relations among the business people of two important
cities of the country.
He said it was an age of
composite and shared resources and the signing of Memorandum of
Understanding between the two chambers would go a long way in mitigating
the problems confronting the business community.
LCCI Vice President Aftab A
Vohra said that the MoU between the Lahore Chamber and Karachi Chamber
would help achieve the target.
He also promised to provide
every guidance to the business community of Karachi. He hoped that this
handholding would help sort out issues confronting the business