KARACHI: The Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has said that the progress of the country was impossible without facilitating the business community, as the journey of economic stability could not be established without the promotion of trade. He pointed out that during President Asif Ali Zardari’s tenure, no economic policy was formulated without consulting the business community.
The PPP Chairman addressed an event of unveiling the foundation stone of FPCCI Tower and annexe at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry House here on Saturday. He said that effective economic diplomacy could contribute to sustained economic growth, stabilize self-sustaining growth trajectory, and expand commerce. He added that the global economic landscape was constantly evolving. “I have always advocated that businessmen and women possess unique qualities that make them effective ambassadors in certain contexts. Their expertise in international trade, commerce, and business enables them to bridge gaps between nations and foster economic cooperation,” he added.
Bilawal Bhutto said that he believed business people could find their own ways to connect with each other and form strong economic partnerships, promoting cross-border investments which could sustain geopolitical shocks. He added that as the Foreign Minister, during his overseas visits, he made efforts to protect and promote entrepreneurs’ business and their integration into the global value chain. “In Iraq, we signed an MoU between the FPCCI and its Iraqi counterpart and established the Business Council. You should all benefit from these arrangements,” he added.
The Foreign Minister said that he was happy to note that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was making its utmost efforts to facilitate the businesses and resolve their concerns. He added that to address delays in attestations of documents, businessmen have now been allocated exclusive time slots at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at our Camp offices. “I’m confident that our collective efforts would help us realize the dream of transforming Pakistan into an economic powerhouse,” he hoped.
Appreciating the Public-Private Partnership formula introduced in Sindh province, the PPP Chairman said that the projects under PPP-mode have resulted in improvements in education, health, and infrastructure sectors. He said that enhancing governance and transparency has been the pursuit of the public-private partnership model in Sindh, and the PPP government’s efforts within the domain of public-private partnership have been internationally recognized. He added that the Economist magazine ranked Sindh’s PPP mode projects as sixth in its list of the best ongoing projects in Asia.
Addressing the business community, he said that there was a lot more that they could achieve together if the government partnered with the private sector. “Even to solve the problems of a big city like Karachi, we have to work together,” he added.
Bilawal said that “out-of-the-box solutions” would have to be found to solve the problems faced by the country and the people. He said that Pakistan was a country rich in minerals and natural resources, while geographically it was also a very important country. Referring to former President Asif Ali Zardari’s tenure, he said that President Zardari did not make any economic policy without consulting the business community. He said that the promotion of trade and the strengthening of the economy were among the top priorities of the PPP.