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Peace a key to promoting regional trade, economic cooperation: President

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ISLAMABAD :President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday, highlighting the importance of connectivity for the promotion of regional trade, said peace was a key to achieve increased economic cooperation among the regional countries, including the Central Asian Republics.
“Regional countries desire the promotion of trade and economic cooperation in the region for which peace is a must,” he said while speaking a dinner hosted by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) for diplomatic community here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
The president also mentioned recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan rail project from Mazar-e-Sharif to Peshawar through Kabul, and said the realization the project would provide a trade corridor for the promotion of regional trade.
He also described the Kashmir dispute as a major obstacle in the way of promoting regional trade, saying its resolution was a must for sustainable peace in the region.
The president said the international community should come forward to help resolve the Kashmir dispute, which had caused three wars between Pakistan and India, in accordance with the United Nations resolutions.
He said owing to the present government’s prudent economic policies, including the measures for ease of doing business, Pakistan was on the path of economic recovery and had performed well despite the COVID-19 challenge, a fact also recognized at the international level.
President Alvi also mentioned the government’s successful strategy of smart lockdowns to protect the country’s poor segments from the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said by ensuring the provision of basic health and education facilities to the poor segments, measures for poverty alleviation, empowerment of women, skill-training of youth and helping the differently abled persons, the present government believed in inclusive uplift masses.
The president urged the business community to adopt the Islamic principles of truth and fair dealing in trade to achieve success in their business for bringing a good name for the country.
He said Pakistan had a lot of potential in diverse areas of economy, including Information Technology and tourism.
LCCI President Tahir Mazoor, while speaking on the occasion, appreciated the government’s economic vision and policies, which led to realization of 3.9% GDP growth in FY 2020-21 including over 9% growth in Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) sector and 8% growth in the construction sector.
He said owing to the government’s policies, Pakistan was expected to achieve 6% to 7% GDP growth during the next two to three years time.
Ambassador of Turkmenistan and Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Atadjan Movlamov in his remarks on the occasion lauded the role of LCCI in promoting regional trade and economic cooperation through enhanced contacts with the diplomatic community.
He said that foreign missions in Pakistan would continue to support the government as well as chambers in their endeavours for the promotion of trade in the region, including the Central Asian Republics.

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