LAHORE    -    The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in collaboration with Chinese and Iranian Consulates, has started foreign languages courses with an objective to upgrade the communication skills of its members.

LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Chinese Consul General in Lahore Long Dingbin and Iranian Consul General Mohammad Reza Nazeri inaugurated language classes. LCCI Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President Mian Zahid Jawiad Ahmad also spoke while former President Farooq Iftikhar, Executive Committee Members Amir Anwar, Aqib Asif, Haji Asif Sehar, Fiaz Haider and Aasia sail Khan were also present on the occasion. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Long Dingbin and Reza Nazeri lauded the LCCI initiative of launching Chinese and Persian languages classes and termed it a giant leap towards strong interaction between the business communities. They said that expertise in languages would bring ease in business matters for Pakistani businessmen who are doing trade with China and Iran. They assured their full cooperation for making B2B contacts stronger between the businessmen of the two countries.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that understanding a foreign language always gives an added advantage to the businessmen besides improving international business relations. He said that literacy in a foreign language was a tool that enables a person to research markets, sell products, and develop business relationships with foreign community and despite impressive export performance, Pakistan’s exports are highly concentrated in a few items and this is only because of language barriers. He said that in order to reduce dependence on a few countries for exports, it was high time to focus on non-traditional markets like Africa, Eastern Europe, South East Asia and Central Asian States. He said that LCCI initiative was aimed to provide the business community an opportunity to understand the intricate details of business negotiation and business dynamic in these countries.

Ali Hussam Asghar said that expertise in foreign languages would give commercial advantages to the businessmen when they try to exploit the industrial markets abroad. Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad said that foreign language was one of the most practical skills one can acquire.