LAHORE - As many as 44 representatives of 25 countries on Tuesday visited the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and had an interactive session with the private sector representatives.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Kalabagh Dam, regional trade, energy, women empowerment, Orange Train project and bilateral trade with African region were the topics that came under discussion.

LCCI President Abdul Basit said that CPEC was a game-changer project for Pakistan and its generations. CPEC was part of One-Belt-One-Road plan to establish close land and maritime links among 60 plus countries across Asia and Europe. Its motivating force is prosperity and the partner countries are focusing on investment in our region, he said. He added that once it is complete, it is estimated that the volume of intra-trade among these countries would reach $2.5 trillion.

The LCCI president said that Gwadar Port is going to play the pivotal role in development of Western region of China, adding the infrastructure development currently going on in Pakistan in major areas like power sector, roads and railways network etc has kick-started the process of economic recovery. These projects will accelerate investment, trade and economic growth in Pakistan, and help to stabilize the country, he maintained.

"We believe that greater success cannot be achieved without fullest participation of the private sectors from both countries especially engaging small and medium-sized enterprises.

"We want our government to ensure that Pakistani companies are given more opportunities to interact closely with Chinese companies so that there is a win-win situation for everyone," Abdul Basit said.

Abdul Basit said: "We are known as resilient nation and we have learnt the art of surviving in any situation. Some experts predict that in next 20 years, Pakistan will fall among the trillion dollar economies." Through right policies, Pakistan can become a regional trade and energy corridor, he added.

LCCI Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan said that growing gap between revenue and expenditure has increased the vulnerability of fiscal framework, requiring the federal and provincial governments to tighten belt with a view to putting economy on track.

He said that the LCCI was making all-out efforts to give boost to business and economic activities in the country. To achieve the goal, it is holding seminars and inviting foreign delegations to Pakistan, he added.

Head of the delegation Brig Hammad spoke about the importance of the private sector for the economic turnaround of the country while the visiting diplomats also asked a number of question ranging from economic situation of the country to the LCCI role.

LCCI former president Sohail Lashari, Executive Committee members Mian Zahid Jawaid, Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, Shahid Nazeer, Moazzam Rasheed, Javed Iqbal Siddiqui and former Executive Committee Member Kamal Mahmood Amjad Mian were also present in the meeting.