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The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized an OIC Ambassadors’ Conference at Bhurban on 14 April, 2012.

The Conference was attended by a large number of Heads of Diplomatic Missions of the OIC countries, businessmen and officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce. The Conference was aimed at indentify ways and means to promote trade between the business communities of the OIC Member countries.

In his opening address, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani appreciated the initiative of the LCCI for organizing the Conference. He stressed that trade has emerged as the engine of development and prosperity of nations. The OIC countries with their immense natural and human resources, have great potential for economic cooperation. However, the existing level of intra-OIC trade was far below this potential. He added that the global Halal Market alone has the potential of more than US$1.3 trillion. The OIC countries must leverage their comparative advantage in Halal products by ensuring highest standards of quality. He urged diplomatic representatives to encourage their entrepreneurs to benefit from the liberal incentives being offered by Pakistan to foreign investors. He identified energy, oil and gas, alternate energy resources, agriculture, pharmaceuticals infrastructure and SMEs as potential areas for investment.

The President LCCI, Mr. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its support in organizing the Conference and to the OIC Ambassadors for their participation. He said that easing visa procedures for business communities and lowering of tariff and non-tariff business would greatly help in increasing trade and economic relations among OIC countries.

The OIC Ambassadors appreciated the LCCI – Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ initiative and assured to share outcome of the Conference with their governments and business communities. They also called for regular interaction between the diplomatic missions and Pakistani business community through such events.

The Conference adopted a Bhurban Statement which prayed for the safety of Pakistani soldiers hit by a massive avalanche in Siachen area and expressed solidarity and sympathy with the families of the brave soldiers.

16 April 2012

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