President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in 1976 approved the common aspirations of the Islamic countries to promote and enhance commercial and industrial cooperation by setting up an institution that would assemble the business organizations of the Islamic countries. In line with the significance of this resolution, the first Conference of the Chambers of Commerce & Industry of the Islamic States was held in 1977. Resolution for unanimously adopted for establishing the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Thereafter, on the offer of the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Headquarters of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA) was established in 1979 in Karachi with Diplomatic Status.
The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that despite 40 years of its creation, activities of ICCIA for the betterment of trade, industry and agriculture is very slow. The current president and secretary general of the chamber are H.E. Shaikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel and Yousef Hasan Khalawi respectively from Saudi Arabia while Attiya Nawazish Ali is assistant secretary general from Pakistan. Vice presidents are Mustafa Rifat Hisarciklioglu from Turkey and Ahmed Al-Wakeel from Egypt.
The Former Minister said that trade preferential system of the organization of Islamic cooperation is formed in 2002 and legally completed in 2011 in order to boost trade amongst the member countries but only 13 out of 41 countries have completed the formalities so far. ICCIA should take measures to fasten the procedure of pending TPS-OIC.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the current GDP of countries included in OIC is $ 6 trillion which is approximately 7 percent of the world, exports are 10 percent and imports are 12 percent of the world while average GDP growth in last five years is around 5.5 to 6 percent. With integrated preferential trade system, the Islamic countries will prosper given to improved trade and economic activities and strong coordination between the brotherly Islamic countries will be formed.
Mian Zahid Hussain urged the government of Pakistan to mobilize the Islamic chamber and take measures to activate member countries encouraging them for completion of pending trade preferential system. In the backdrop of reducing Oil reserves in Islamic countries and increased consumption of alternative energy resources by the world, the Islamic block need to focus of alternate means of trade and diversify their economies. Pakistan being the only nuclear Muslim state with population of over 211 million and strong armed forces with versatile and huge potential in trade, industry and tourism. Islamic countries can get benefited from Pakistan’s potential and invest in various sector in addition to avail the human resource and defence services.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the chairman of the board of directors of the ICCIA is the current president while FPCCI is serving as member in addition to 18 other chambers of the member countries.