Work on 13 SEZs & Industrial Estates Started in Last 2 Years: Mian Aslam Iqbal

FAISALABAD, Sep 27 (APP): Punjab Minister for Industries, Commerce and Investment Mian Aslam Iqbal has said that the government is transforming Punjab into a hub of trade and economic activities and work has been started on 13 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and industrial estates in a short span of two years.

Addressing the 34th Annual General Meeting of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), he said that the government is fully committed to expediting growth of commerce to maximum possible level by using all available means. Owing to the global economic meltdown as result of COVID19, a large number of expat workers are expected to return to Pakistan. Therefore, the government has prepared a plan to accommodate the workforce in economic zones in addition to creating jobs for locals.

He said that we are establishing a mega SEZ at Muzaffargarh with a covering area of 20,000 acres which can be expanded up to 50,000 acres in future. Under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Punjab government is committed to facilitating industrialists and investors for improving economic activities and increasing employment opportunities, he said and added that Faisalabad is the central hub of textile sector with a large share in exports of different textile products. Therefore, the country’s biggest expo center will be established at Faisalabad.

He said that the government has strong believes that economic revolution in the country can only be possible through trade promotion and all possible support to export sector is being extended to achieve optimum growth. He said that textile industry is backbone of the economy and remedial measures to overcome the challenges are being taken to uplift this sector. He said that the government had taken several measures including easy financing for payment of wages and liquidation of outstanding refunds in order to keep industrial wheels moving during pandemic times, and no country could achieve economic targets without the due role of exporters.

The future of Pakistan is very bright and all resources will be mobilised for converting Pakistan according to the Premier’s vision of economically stable and strong Pakistan, he added. Earlier, PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha presenting his annual report said that despite the turbulent economic environment and challenges appeared on account of COVID19, the association continued its efforts to put the business on path of economic diversification and growth by enhancing its value proposition.

This year, we envisioned the idea of striving towards pro-business reforms to ensure a favourable environment that is conducive to growth, boost productivity and enhance the competitiveness with regional rivals in international markets. He expressed hope that new team will continue the efforts to strengthen linkages with local and international businesses to promote and protect the interests of textile industry.

Newly-elected Chairman PTEA Muhammad Ahmad, addressing the participants, said that rising cost of doing business had not only stalled fresh investment in textile industry but also hampered the export growth. The government should devise a comprehensive strategy to counter the issue in order to accelerate the industrial pace and also to save livelihood of millions of workers, he added. Later, shields were presented to Provincial Minister for Industries, Commerce & Investment Mian Aslam Iqbal and outgoing chairman, vice chairman.

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