THE directorate-general of trade organisations is working under the federal ministry of commerce which regulates and issues licences to different trade associations and regional chambers under the umbrella of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), which is the apex body of the trade community of the private sector of Pakistan.

All trade associations and regional chambers are supposed to be members of the apex body responsible for uplifting standards and activities in their respective regions and sectors, whereas on the governmental level provinces and districts are made to give administrative support for better management.

The districts and provinces are not supposed to deal with a foreign country for any support or for exporting product of their district or provinces as ‘foreign affairs’ are subject of the federal government.

All dealings of districts and provinces with foreign countries must be routed through the ministry of foreign affairs like the trade activities of every sector must be routed through the FPCCI.

It is very unfortunate that our Karachi chamber is directly collaborating with the confederation of Indian industries, the apex body of the Indian industries, and has arranged an exhibition in Karachi without the FPCCI patronage, while the Faisalabad chamber has announced organising an exhibition of ‘Made in Faisalabad’ products.

This gives an impression as if Faisalabad is an independent country competing Pakistan.

Some US diplomats recently visited the Hyderabad chamber and announced some favours for it.

All this is good but the directorate-general of trade organisations must ensure that all associations and regional chambers carry out activities within their sectors and cities, and all contacts with foreign countries are routed through the FPCCI.

This will give a good impression of unity among business communities of Pakistan.

DR ATHAR AHMED Former Deputy Secretary-General/Acting Sectary-General FPCCI Karachi

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