SIALKOT   -   The Sialkot, Gujranwala and Gujrat chambers of commerce and industry jointly demanded the direly needed trade and export-related incentives, facilities and relaxations for rehabilitation and activation of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Sialkot.

Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) hosted an important joint meeting of Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Gujrat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GTCCI) held at SCCI. SCCI President Khawaja Masud Akhtar presided over this meeting. President Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI)  Muhammad Asim Anees, President Gujrat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GTCCI) and SCCI SVP Waqas Akram Awan attended.

The meeting was told that the foundation stone of Sialkot EPZ had been laid on January 07, 1997 and its inauguration was held on June 22, 2002 (17 years ago). Since then, this Sialkot EPZ  had been waiting for its “proper functioning and activation” due to the lacked trade and export related incentives, facilities and relaxations, only few Sialkot based industrialists and exporters had yet established their industrial units in Sialkot EPZ despite the passage of 17 consecutive years as well.Pakistan’s these three main chambers of commerce unanimously passed a joint declaration  announcing to continue their joint struggle  to ensure the early  amicable solutions to the prevailing problems of the business community  in Pakistan’s this “Golden Economic  Triangle”, comprising neighbouring industrial Sialkot, Gujranwala and Gujrat districts here.

During this important meeting,  the said three main chambers of commerce , under the platform of “Golden Economic Triangle”, urged the government to ensure the early establishment of  “Golden Economic Triangle Council”, besides patronizing the business community properly. They also demanded early establishment of new special economic zones on CPEC route , early completion of grand mega project of Sialkot-Lahore Motorway, linking Gujranwala and Gujrat districts with Sialkot-Lahore Motorway through M-2, establishment of Expo Centers besides resolving the taxes related issues of the regional businessmen as well.

SCCI SVP Waqas Akram Awan said that Sialkot region had much industrial and export significance and it should be developed to boost the SMEs, enabling them to boom up the industries by having the trade and export-related incentives to be issued by the government. The meeting was told that the business community of this region pays about Rs. 56 billion in shape of different taxes annually but no such trade , export and tax-related incentives were being given to the businessmen and exporters here. The participants added that this situation should be a point of grave concern and an eye opener for every one as well.