Security concerns forcing businessmen to leave Pakistan: Zardari


Asif Ali Zardari

LAHORE: Former president Asif Ali Zardari has said that Pakistani businessmen were leaving the country with their capital owing to security concerns.

Addressing the businessmen in Islamabad, Zardari emphasized that despite the potential for a highly profitable return on investment in Pakistan, entrepreneurs were opting to explore better opportunities abroad. He said that Pakistan offers a “1,000 percent return” on investment, surpassing even Dubai’s attractiveness.

Zardari suggested that the signing of a ‘charter of economy’ by all political parties was crucial to resolve the country’s financial crisis and stabilize the national economy.

He recalled offering a similar national charter of economy to former prime minister Imran Khan but lamented that Khan failed to grasp the true issues facing the country. Zardari reaffirmed the willingness of the Pakistan People’s Party to promptly sign such a charter.

Zardari assured textile millers that the textile industry would receive a fair and equitable operating environment. He encouraged the business community to accept portfolios in the cabinet related to textile and finance, advocating for the appointment of technical experts to lead those ministries.

Zardari acknowledged the challenges faced by the business community and highlighted the importance of resolving them to enable businessmen to fulfill their tax obligations to the government. He also emphasized the critical role of the textile industry in achieving his vision of $100 billion in exports.

Regarding regional developments, the former president viewed the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran as a positive sign for the region. He believed this would facilitate Islamabad’s access to affordable LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) from Tehran.

The former president pledged that if the PPP was voted to power, the execution of the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project would be ensured. He expressed his intention to bring gas from Iran to reduce the input cost for Pakistan’s textile industry, recalling his previous advocacy for “trade not aid” during discussions with the European Union.

Zardari further advised the Pakistani business community to employ a precise combination of strategies to effectively market their products in the international market. He highlighted Bangladesh’s advantage of GSP (Generalized Scheme of Preferences) plus status, citing the presence of the “Made in Bangladesh” label on 70 percent of Indian textile products shipped to Europe for sale.

Zardari proposed the distribution of high-quality crop seeds to boost the agriculture sector and stabilize the agrarian economy.

This recent interaction between PPP leadership and the business community marks the third such engagement within a month.

 

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