FPCCI discusses projects for economic uplift of Balochistan with Govt.

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Karachi (PR): The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has prepared proposals for the economic revival of Balochistan pertaining to trade facilitation, fisheries, agriculture and mining which were discussed in meetings held with representatives of the federal and provincial governments in Gwadar recently.

Mir Naveed Jan Baloch, Vice President of FPCCI said that in meetings held with Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning and Development and Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, Chief Minister of Balochistan, he briefed the government representatives about the need for creating greater opportunities for trade and transit trade with neighboring countries by opening Gwadar-Gabd, Mand-Pishin and Panjgur-Chedagi borders with Iran and Noshki border with Afghanistan for trade and immigration. He said that Gwadar Port should be activated with maximum involvement of the local community, in order to ensure stability and prosperity in the areas surrounding the port.

Later, in a detailed presentation that was made by FPCCI to the Balochistan Chief Secretary, Mr. Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, Mr. Naveed Baloch said that shrimp and fish farms should be set up on the coastal belt with the associated packing and processing infrastructure so that seafood may be exported directly from Balochistan instead of transporting it elsewhere. He said that foreign assistance may be sought for developing the fisheries sector, as well as for developing expertise in livestock and dairy farming. Similarly, slaughter houses and meat processing plants may be set up with foreign assistance in border areas (such as Chaman and Taftan) to facilitate exports to Iran and Afghanistan.

Mr. Naveed Baloch also said that he had asked the Government of Balochistan to set up a Balochistan Stone Development Company on the pattern of PASDEC, which would have equal representation from the public and private sectors, and would be a more effective way of addressing issues pertaining to mining of marble, minerals and ores in Balochistan, which is now a provincial subject after the 18th Amendment.

He said that the Chief Minister had assured him that the Government of Balochistan was also working on the proposals that FPCCI had submitted earlier for the uplift of the provincial economy. The Balochistan Government was planning to organize a Balochistan Forum shortly, which would serve the purpose of exploring opportunities for trade and investment in the province. Regarding the possibility of new routes with neighboring countries, he said that the Chief Minister had held discussion with the Iranian side already. The Chief Secretary asked FPCCI to maintain close coordination with the Balochistan government and said that local and foreign investors would receive maximum support and protection from the government in any projects that would benefit the province.