Increasing exports only solution to Pakistan’s financial woes: Nawaz

Traders tell PM more production houses will move to Bangladesh and China if industrialists’ grievances are not addressed in time

ISLAMABAD – Terming exports essential for the country’s prosperity, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday that a strategy would be worked out soon to increase them.

Chairing a high-level meeting with heads of chambers of commerce and industries and exporters at the PM Office, the prime minister said the strategy would be chalked out in light of the recommendations of the businessmen and exporters. The meeting was held to deliberate on the measures to increase exports in the challenging environment of global economy, where initiatives to improve quality and competitiveness of Pakistani exports came under discussion. Nawaz said despite insufficient resources, the government was determined to resolving the problems of businessmen and farmers.

He stressed the need for joint efforts at public and private levels to give a boost to the country’s exports and regretted that Pakistan did not make any substantial progress in exports during last several years and also lagged behind other countries in the region in this sector. He said the purpose of the meeting was to brainstorm over the ways to enhance exports. The prime minister said the government was against receiving aid from other countries and stressed that promotion of tax culture could help strengthen the economy.

“If you want to see Pakistan prosperous and self-reliant, give tax and strengthen the state,” he said. The prime minister said the nation must try to learn from mistakes of the past and take Pakistan forward on path of progress and development. He said transparency had been the hallmark of the government since it came into power. He expressed gratitude to God for the economic turnaround that his government had been able to achieve. He said major decisions were taken particularly to improve the power sector. He said it was another achievement of his government that all the important decisions were taken at the national level with consensus.

He mentioned the decision to launch operation Zarb-e-Azb, which had full support of the nation. He lauded the sacrifices of the people of Pakistan, the security forces and especially the young children of the Army Public School of Peshawar. He said no concession would be given to those who targeted the military personnel. On the Karachi operation, Nawaz said all political parties took a unanimous decision to rid the city of target killers, extortionists and organizations involved in spreading hate. He said soon stringent measures would be taken to deweaponize the country.

He recalled his meeting with businessmen in the recent past, who particularly mentioned the improved law and order situation and the restoration of confidence of investors and international community.

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