All Pakistan Business Forum President Syed Maaz Mahmood has welcomed the Pakistan’s highest-ever upward shift in a single year in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index, stating the APBF is ready to work closely with the government to resolve all industrial issues for further ease of doing business and to enhance exports and revive growth momentum.

He said that it is a good news that Pakistan climbed by 28 point, rising to the 108th Ease of Doing Business rank. He said that Pakistan’s landing in the club of world’s top 10 business climate improvers would improve the country’s image for attracting investments. However, he warned that there was great potential for exports of Pakistan goods which are not being utilized. He urged the government that the focus of its new policies should be to offer long-term predictable incentives for investors and promote exports from the country.

He demanded the government to take serious measures to implement the recommendations provided by the European Union (EU) to implement the 27 international ILO conventions required to be compliant under the GSP-Plus scheme.

He said that Pakistan has been availing tariff concession through GSP-Plus status offered by the European Union for export of its products to its markets. This requires that the applicant country has signed, ratified and is satisfactorily implementing 27 International Conventions pertaining to human rights, labour rights, environment and good governance. He said that the government should realise the fact that we are not compliant with most of international conventions and this extension of GSP-Plus facility has provided us an opportunity to make serious efforts to improve the human rights and labour rights situation.

He also suggest to enhance collaboration of both public and private sectors with each other to improve country’s Doing Business ranking and Global Competitiveness Index further, besides proposing necessary steps to improve the country’s fiscal and monetary performance by taking all stakeholders onboard.

All Pakistan Business Forum has stressed the need for promoting skills development according to the private sector demand, saying the skilled youth can fulfill the industrial human resource needs, besides uplifting national economy.

lamenting the grave situation of employment due to lack of skilled workforce, Syed Maaz Mahmood said that the employability rate of graduates from the formal TVET system is very low, as about 3 million youth enter the labour market while formal TVET system can only accommodate just 0.5 million trainees annually. He said the gap between demand and supply of skilled workforce is due to limited cooperation between the public and the private sector in TVET planning and its implementation, which needs to gapped.

He said Pakistan has other opportunities for improvement in the areas measured by the Word Bank index.

The APBF President observed that Pakistan is a resource-rich country and does not need any external financial help. He was of the view that market and products diversification is the best method to boost exports. He said that Pakistani exports always remained dependent on a few items and countries, and urged the government to task Pakistani missions abroad with finding new destinations.

He said that government should also facilitate export-oriented industries by resolving their genuine issues like delay in refunds. He also stressed on taking advantage of the beautiful landscapes in the country to enhance the tourism industry. Keeping in view of changing global scenario, the government’s immediate economic planning and its implementation is a must to avert any serious challenge to the national sovereignty.