Pakistan Should Integrate with $20 Trillion SCO Economy Irfan Iqbal Sheikh
Karachi (PR): Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has emphasized that Pakistan must aggressively
promote its trade, investment and economic ties with the SCO nations; as the formidable bloc has a
cumulative GDP of $20 trillion. This will mean broadening of export markets, becoming part of major
supply routes of the world, major joint ventures, transfer of technology and foreign direct investment
(FDI) by major retail groups& industrial conglomerates from SCO countries, he added.
President FPCCI noted that Pakistan has many close allies in SCO and these bilateral & multilateral
relations should be translated into commercial & economic relations through people-to-people,
business-to-business and chamber-to-chamber relations; and, joint trade promotion activities. He added
that an economic bloc with a GDP of $20 trillion can uplift Pakistan out of all its economic shortcomings;
provided we work hard and diligently to tap the opportunities & potential that SCO offers.
Being the President of country’s apex body, Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh represented Pakistan in the board
meeting of the high-powered business council of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO);which held
in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He apprised the audiences of the economic aftermath of the most devastating
floods of Pakistan’s history and the need for the international community to swiftly provide the much
needed relief and assistance. He elaborated that the extent of damage is so much that Pakistan will need
upwards of $15 billion for rehabilitation of the affected populace and reconstruction of the infrastructure.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh apprised the SCO Business Council that Pakistan has implemented land-based
logistics convention, i.e. TIR, measures initially for Turkey and Azerbaijan; and, by the end of this year,
we are going to start land-based transportation to Uzbekistan as well. Eventually, through TIR, Pakistan
will expand to Russia and other Central Asian states. He informed that TIR has cut short the transit time
by two-thirds and more than halved the transit cost for the trial consignments to Turkey.
FPCCI Chief has highlighted that SCO region offers enormous potential for Pakistani exports in goods
and services; and export of skilled & semi-skilled workforce. He has offered to collaborate on regional
trade exhibitions and exchange of trade delegations. Pakistan can multiply exports of its world-class
products & services to SCO countries; namely, value-added textiles; IT & ITeS services; surgical
instruments; sports goods; cultural artifacts; rice, fruits & vegetables and precious stones & minerals. The
time has come that we should look east and expand, enrich and diversify our trade, investments and
economic relations with the new & untapped markets, he added.
Brig Iftikhar Opel, SI (M), Retd.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, is seen in a group photo along with delegates of other
countries during Board Meeting of the Business Council of Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(SCO) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.