PR No. 260
President urges business community to contribute generously in flood relief efforts, adopt latest ICT tools to expand businesses
Islamabad, August 30, 2022

President Dr Arif Alvi has urged the business community, especially the small traders and industries, to contribute generously to the flood relief efforts and aid the flood affected countrymen. He further called upon the business community, to adopt the latest Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to expand their businesses, bring value addition to their products, and explore new markets so as to expand exports and to overcome the current economic difficulties being faced by the country. The President made these remarks while addressing the Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industries (ICST&SI) Achievement Awards distribution ceremony, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, today. President ICST&SI, Mr Muhammad Zahid, and members of the business community attended the event. Addressing the ceremony, the President emphasised the need to invest in the human resources of the country, saying that upskilling our youth bulge and women population in different sectors of the economy, especially the IT sector, could help Pakistan achieve fast-paced growth in the short term. He said that Pakistan should focus on the development of a knowledge-based economy and equipping its enormous human resources with soft and latest technical skills to put the country on a path of progress. The President advised the business community to base their business and trade upon ethical values of honesty, integrity, responsibility, quality, trust and respect and customer satisfaction to consolidate their position in the market in a sustained manner. He added that new markets could be captured by maintaining the quality of goods and services to gain the trust, confidence and loyalty of customers and fulfilling their corporate social responsibilities. He called upon the chambers of commerce to motivate their members to organize trade fairs and exhibitions of their products and services in the country as well as abroad, besides using online marketing facilities to substantially increase their customer base and expand their businesses. Highlighting the importance of exports in improving the Current Account Deficit, he said that we needed to bring about a paradigm shift in the pace of our economic progress and called upon the chambers of commerce and industry to further consolidate their efforts to increase their production without compromising the quality, promoting tax culture, and expanding their memberships to bring more businesses in their purview. The President highlighted that the decision-makers should take timely decisions through a consultative process to increase country's productivity and to remain competitive in the local and international markets. He called upon the members of the business community to market their products internationally while maintaining globally accepted ethical values, environmental, hygiene, health and safety standards. The President said that it was the duty of the Government to take stock of the proposals of the business community and through consultation and negotiations and providing due concessions to the business community to improve the ease of doing business. He added that it would not only improve their businesses but would also increase employment opportunities in the country. While highlighting the importance of trade, he said that trade was a noble profession and had been practised by the messengers of Allah, including our Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). He added that Islam spread in most parts of the world not by the power of the sword by due to the fair, just, honest and truthful conduct of Muslim traders. The President also called upon the business community to increase the participation of women in businesses and industry by providing them with a safe, secure and harassment-free working environment and facilitating them at the workplace. He said that barring women from socio-economic activities had no religious basis rather it was based on cultural and human biases embedded in our culture and society. He said that such beliefs needed to be discouraged as Hazrat Khadeeja (RA) was a businesswoman who used to participate in business activities and actively managed her business enterprises. The President further said that cultural and structural hindrances against women’s inclusion should be removed by educating the people, and taking affirmative action in different sectors, including business, trade, investment and manufacturing. He regretted that women were being deprived of their inheritance and property rights in some parts of the country, despite Islam and the Constitution granting them their rights. Earlier, the representatives of the Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industries thanked the President for his continuous patronage and encouragement and said that the purpose of these awards was to recognize and honour the dedicated businesspersons for their contributions to the socio-economic development of the country. It was highlighted that ICST&SI was providing guidance and counselling to entrepreneurial youth and had imparted trainings to youth in e-commerce and digital marketing, besides signing MOUs for cooperation with emerging start ups.