FPCCI wants better facilites at ports for CPEC success

FPCCI wants better facilites at ports for CPEC success


ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Sunday called for increased focus on development of ports to ensure success of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. "Better facilities at ports will ensure smooth flow of merchandise and stimulation of economic activities which will cut cost of exports and imports benefiting masses as well as business community," said FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam while talking Ports and Shipping Secretary Khalid Pervaiz.  FPCCI Vice President Zafar Bakhtwari, ICCI group leader Sajida Zulfiquar, UBG leader Karim Aziz Malik and others were also present. Rauf Alam said that demurrage time should be increased from one week to two weeks while detention time should be increased from 14 to 21 days. "This will improve volume of maritime trade from current 73 million tonnes to 100 million tonnes as it remains the cheapest mode of transportation," he said and added that the FPCCI was preparing proposals to boost maritime trade, which would be presented to the ministry soon. The FPCCI president said that government should allocate extra resources for development of ports, which were responsible for handling 90 percent of the nation's external trade. Ports located near Pakistan can handle ten to twenty times more cargo, Shangha is on the top of 50 best container ports, Singapore in second while Pakistan is in the bottom, he said. "Pakistan stands at 32nd in Southeast Asia due to making it expensive for trade," he added. Ports and Shipping Secretary Khalid Pervaiz said that the government was doing best to improve ports and that all the proposals of the FPCCI would be considered. "We realise that ports always play vital role in the economy of any country and now its role has become more important than ever."