KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), the apex trade body of the country, has urged the government to outline strategy to save national economy in the wake of global meltdown on coronavirus epidemic.
FPCCI president Mian Anjum Nisar in a statement on Saturday urged the government to take preventive measures and develop strategy to protect the pace of economic and trade progress of Pakistan from likely impacts of world economic slowdown apprehended by leading think tanks due to the recent global spread of the novel coronavirus.
Globally, more than 145,682 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus. The death toll above 5436, in China death toll 3173, South Korea, mass testing has turned up over 6,000 cases and more than 60 deaths.
Italy has confirmed more than 17660 cases, along with more than 1200 deaths. Iran has announced 514 deaths and 11364 cases. The United States confirmed 41 deaths from the outbreak, along with more than 1264 confirmed cases.
Mian Anjum Nisar said that in order to safe national economic system from the impacts of slowdown of world economy due to coronavirus and other global economic challenges government should announce economic relief package to protect trade and industry of the country. He informed that the Europe is now the “epicentre” of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Europe Union (EU) is the second biggest trading partner of Pakistan where around 20 percent of Pakistani exports have duty-free access to the Europe, while 70 percent avails preferential treatment.
FPCCI under the current scenario has organized a consultative session seeking feeding back from the stake holders on likely impact of this coronavirus on Pakistan’s foreign trade.
The session was attended by Dy. Governor SBP Dr. Murtaza Syed, Dr. S.M. Qaiser Sajjad Secretary General, Dr. Samreen Sarfarz Pakistan Medical Association, Dr. Adil H. Haider Dean Aga Khan Medical University, Dr. Ijaz, health department of Sindh Government, Aga Fakhar Hussain Additional Secretary Industry & Commerce Sindh, Dr. Saeed SINA Welfare Trust, Prof. Dr. Zarna Wahid, Dow University of Health Sciences, Pakistan National Shipping Corportation and KPT. The session was chaired by Sheikh Sultan Rehman Vice President FPCCI.
The chief of the apex trade body also informed that the US Congress has voted for a US $ 50 billion emergency funding package to fight the coronavirus. Several central banks around the world, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have lowered interest rates to support their economies amid the coronavirus outbreak. Lowering interest rates make borrowing costs cheaper and could encourage business to take loans and spend which will in turn stimulate the economy. He further stated that the IMF is making available US $ 50 billion in emergency funding to help poor and middle-income countries.
Mian Anjum Nisar President FPCCI emphasized that as the inflationary trend shows declining that support to reduce interest rates while on the other hand to boost and safe economic activity all segment of economy needs to be supported and facilitated to contribute in economic growth.
Other- wise we will again face economic crises, lower industrial growth and shifting of industrial units in sick industry. Government should also reduce the cost of doing business and encourage the domestic & foreign investors to make investment in country at this critical time when the global economy is shrinking.