ISLAMABAD: A delegation of Islamabad Industrial Association (IIA) led by its President Muhammad Ahmed Waheed visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) and congratulated Faad Waheed on assuming charge as the Acting President ICCI. Khalid Iqbal Malik Group Leader, Khalid Javed, Mian Akram Farid, Tariq Sadiq, Mian Shaukat Masud, Nasir Khan, Karim Aziz Malik, Nasir Qureshi, Ch. Waheed ud Din, Zafar Bakhtawari, Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi, Iftikhar Anwar Sethi, Ch. Mukhtar, Usman Khalid, Dr. Muhammad Usman, Mirza Muhammad Ali, Shaukat Ali, Malik Sohail Hussain, Ashfaq Chatha, Khalid Chaudhry and others were in the delegation.
Addressing the delegation, Faad Waheed, Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the 22 percent policy interest rate is a major hurdle in promoting industrial activities and stressed that the government should bring it down to single digit level that would help boost industrialization, promote investment, enhance exports, create jobs and revive the economy. He said that the industry in Pakistan is facing the highest interest rate in the whole Asia as the interest rate in Japan is -0.1%, Taiwan 1.88%, Thailand 2.5, Malaysia 3%, China 3.4 %, Vietnam 4.5%, and Indonesia & Hongkong 5.75%, Bangladesh and India 6.5%. He said that the high interest rate has made our industry uncompetitive in the international market due to which our exports are not growing up to the desired level. He said that the best way to revive the economy is to focus on export-led growth of the economy for which single digit interest rate is the key requirement.
Muhammad Ahmed, President, Islamabad Industrial Association said that the private sector is the engine of growth for the economy, but the bank’s net lending to the private sector in Pakistan has plunged 90 percent during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, due to which the industry has experienced negative growth in many sectors. He said that it has become almost impossible for small and medium industries to get credit from banks at such high interest rate due to which its expansion has come to a halt. He said that the high interest rate is a major hurdle in promoting new investment in Pakistan and stressed that the government should look into this serious issue to facilitate the growth of business and investment in the country. Engr. Azhar ul Islam Vice President ICCI said that many investors are keen to set up industries in the federal capital but due to absence of a new industrial zone, they are unable to make new investments. He stressed that the government should extend full cooperation to ICCI for the establishment of a new industrial estate in the region that would produce multiple benefits for the economy.