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Traders urge Obama to announce market access
 admin May 3, 2010, 03:17:36 AM 

LAHORE: Pakistan’s private sector on Tuesday urged US President Barack Obama to announce direct market access to Pakistani products on zero rate duty while meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari to help stabilise its bleak economy as Pakistan has suffered a colossal loss of $68 billion since turmoil in Afghanistan and war against terror.

President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Sultan Ahmad Chwala, President SAARC CCI Tariq Sayeed and VP SAARC, CCI, Pakistan chapter and founder President Pak-US Business Council, Iftikhar Ali Malik who are currently attending a high level meeting of Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Egypt in a message received here from Cario emphasised the urgent need to assist Pakistan to overcome its economic crisis by restoring quota system for it at par with all other under developing countries.

They said that President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, all political parties and people belonging to all walks of life in Pakistan always condemned the acts of terrorism worldwide and have been US active associate against the menace of terror. He said that Pak economy has been suffering a net loss of $7 billion annually in the aftermath of war against terror besides rendering millions of people displaced in addition to endangering the security in the country. He said that 3.5 million Afghan refugees are still camped in Pakistan, which is liability on our territory.

They said US programme of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) must be implemented instantly and make sure cent per cent buy back as 550 textile weaving, spinning, textile make-up and garments units with full infrastructure need immediately rehabilitation and direct access to US market for stabilising the national economy on war footings.

About power crisis, Chwala said that US should provide technology for coal fired generating energy to Pakistan to meet our ever-increasing demand for power, which is badly needed for sustainable economic and agriculture growth.

Sayeed said that due to unrest and turmoil in neighbouring country, major chunk of Pak food stock is smuggled to Afghanistan, which ultimately leads to acute good grain scarcity. He said that proper and timely USA assistance would ensure durable peace, stamp out terror besides strengthening the democratic system of government in Pakistan.

He said there is vast scope for US private sectors and investors in every sphere of life especially in agro, power, IT and textile sectors. He said that Pakistan fully supports US president for war against terror. He said Obama’s mechanism for holding parleys will also help a lot in eliminating extremism from the world.

Malik said the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) could play a pivotal role in this regard, being an important channel for trade ties between the two countries and link to American markets.

He said that entire world especially the poor countries are confronting the worst ever economic recession after second world war and this issue of vital importance is to be addressed on top priority to fully ensure peace and security in the world.

He said Pakistan is an emerging market rich in opportunities for US investment, and observed that the US is already an important trading partner.

Malik said Islam is a universal religion advocating peace, justice, brotherhood and equal rights for all human beings irrespective of their creed or colour and abhors violence and terrorism. app

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