The Specialized Committee Meetings of Industry, Investment and SMEs Promotion of ECO Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ECO-CCI) was held via video link and attended by representatives of the Chambers of Commerce & Industry of member countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan and ECO Trade and Development Bank. Mr. Sheikh Sultan Rehman, Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Mr. Abrar Ahmed FPCCI Convener and Mubashir Butt Member of the Specialized Committee Industry, Investment and SMEs Promotion on FPCCI attended the meeting from Pakistan.
Shaikh Sultan Rehman, Vice President FPCCI stated that Industry is a real sector of the economy which has significant forward and backward linkages with the other sectors of economy. Unfortunately COVID-19, significantly affected the economy of Pakistan in terms of declining economic growth, industrial production, exports, remittances, tax revenue collection, disruption in supply chain and decline in demand of non-essential items. He also shared the measures taken by Government of Pakistan and State Bank of Pakistan in facilitating industry and investment in Pakistan particularly in health sector by increased testing facilities, provision of Personal Protection Equipments and Life Saving medicines. He also informed about the international survey initiated by the FPCCI to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on trade and industry of different countries.
Mr. Abrar Ahmed Convener of the Specialized Committee Industry, Investment and SMEs Promotion also discussed the measures taken by Pakistani Government like reduction in policy rate, deferment of loans and debts, soft loans to industries for payment of wages and salaries, concessionary loans to SMEs and the agriculture sector. He also emphasized on joint ventures between Pakistan and other countries in textile and other sectors.
During the meeting, the participants shared the experience of pandemic and measures taken by their government for facilitating the trade and industry and discussed in details ECO Investment conference, promotion of Halal Industry, harmonization of visa regime, problems related to SME, promotion of barter trade and opening of border gates, implementation of ECO trade transit agreement, holding of ECO trade facilitation agreement, ECO trade fairs.