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LAHORE: Pakistan should sign Free Trade Agreements on a win-win basis to maintain balance of trade with other countries, Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said on Friday.

Addressing the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (LCCI) 2nd Export Trophy, Dr Pasha said the process of refunds has been expedited while some tax exemptions have been given to export-oriented industries. However, the system needs to be improved for expediting refunds processing, she added.

On the occasion, she announced support to the LCCI in taking up its demands with the federal government aimed at boosting exports.

“The government must support the business community as it has a vital role for improvement of foreign exchange reserves, balance of payments and trade deficit,” she noted. All export-oriented sectors should have zero-rated facility, she added.

Highlighting the aims and objectives of the export trophy event, LCCI president Abdul Basit said the business community deserves appreciation for working against all odds successfully.

Winners of Best Export Brand Awards included Mr Zafar Ahmed Khan (Mitchell’s Fruit Farms), Mr Akhlaq Ahmad (Epesol Pvt Ltd), and Mr Qais Rehman (Kalamkaar).

Recipients of Best Export Performance Trophy included Mr Salman Basit (Big Bird), Mr Ali Hussam Asghar (Ali Commercial Corporation), Mr Syed Muhammad Irfan Auqeel (Millat Tractor), Mr Munir Alam (Azgard Nine), Mr Nasib Ahmed Saifi (Anis Associate), Mr Faisal Iqbal (i2c Pakistan), Mr Shafiq Ahmed Abbasi (Novamed Pharmaceuticals), Mr Rana Abdul Mannan (Atlas Exports), Mr Tariq Mahmood (Sarwar Foods), Mr Mian Kaleem (Al-Tech Engineering and Manufacturers), and Mr Zafar Iqba (Nobel Foods).

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2017