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ICCI for regional economic cooperation

The trend of rising Chinese investment in Pakistan, especially in the energy sector, has given new hope to businessmen as they expect it to control the energy crisis and help expand business activities.

However, for sustainable economic development, it is essential that the government should also focus on promoting economic cooperation with all regional countries that offer tremendous scope for promoting trade and exports.

These remarks were made by Zafar Bakhtawari, president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry while welcoming the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Punjab government and Norinco International Cooperation Limited of China for setting up 300 megawatts of solar power plant in Cholistan.

Zafar Bakhtawari said strong regional economic cooperation is an acknowledged tool for economic prosperity but termed it unfortunate that Pakistan has yet to promote strong relations with South and Central Asian countries to take full benefits of regional economic integration.

He said due to lack of regional cooperation, intra-regional trade in South Asia has stagnated at around just five percent of its total trade, while East Asia enjoys 50 percent regional trade and Latin America around 20 percent.

Even Sub-Saharan Africa with poor transport and telecommunication infrastructure has over 10 percent intra-regional trade.

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