For the first time, the two chambers have decided to sign MoU for close collaboration on the issues of vital national importance.

Nov 21 - 27, 2005

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 community.