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President Asif Ali Zardari. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Entrepreneurs and businessmen should utilise the country’s economic potential and strategic location to make it an economic power, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday.

Speaking to office-bearers of the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) and the World Presidents Organisation (WPO) at the President House, he said the Special Economic Zone Bill 2012 was a major initiative of the government to create a business- and investor-friendly environment.

He expressed hopes that the new law would help reduce the cost of doing business and ensure attractive returns to investors. The law would also augment exports and create employment opportunities, Mr Zardari added.

Under the new law, all capital goods, machinery and equipment will get one-time exemption from customs duty and entrepreneurs will also be exempted from income tax for ten years.

“Since the incentives granted to investors will be protected by law, economic policies will enjoy continuity and the country’s industrial base will strengthen,” President Zardari said.

The President urged the Young Presidents Organisation and the World Presidents Organisation to take advantage of the new law as well as other incentives that the government was extending to investors and entrepreneurs.

He said education was critical to human development. “It is education and innovation that make advancement possible.”

He said the pyramid of knowledge was not built in a day. It was built brick by brick by mankind over centuries.

“Knowledge is a common heritage of mankind and all nations have contributed to the building of this pyramid. It does not belong exclusively to one nation or any geographical area,” President Zardari said.

“We must share knowledge and experience with one another to enrich humanity’s collective wisdom.”

The President advised the youth to seek inspiration from the wisdom and experience of other peoples. “We must not seek to reinvent the wheel. Instead, we should build upon the experience of those who invented the wheel,” he said.

President Zardari said the government was keen to create an environment that was conducive to entrepreneurship as the success of entrepreneurs meant economic progress and creation of job opportunities, calling upon the YPO and WPO to do their bit in this regard.

“Let everyone remember that whatever we have achieved today is due to what the country has given us and let us try to repay a fraction of what the country has given us,” Mr Zardari said.

He praised the two organisations for generating annual revenues of over five trillion dollars and employing more than 15 million people worldwide.—Agencies

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