FPCCIThe Chairman Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Capital Office Qurban Ali on Wednesday said that exploration of new markets and regional trade integration are the key elements for economic and trade expansion to materialize the industrial policy of the government. Afghanistan can provide economic and trade connectivity with Central Asian States (CARs) whereas exploration of untapped market like Africa region and additional potential market of European Union (EU), North American countries besides Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASIANs) are the major potential for increasing the connectivity and trade integration with regional and word economy, Chairman FPCCI Capital office, Qurban Ali told APP here. Replying to a question, he said that economic relations with Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) would make Pakistan a hub for regional trade, transit and transshipment. He said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a project of global significance would connect the whole country from Balochistan to Gilgit Baltistan (GB) with big economies like China. Qurban Ali said that Gilgit Baltistan and Northern Areas are considered as the gateway of CPEC as after the completion of this mega project Gilgit Baltistan would not only be connected with the major cities of the country but also with great neighboring economy China. He said that there is need to speedy work on Gilgit Baltistan Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to modernize the local industry to increase the local export to the neighboring China and Central Asian States (CARs). Meanwhile he informed that Gilgit Baltistan has huge potential in tourism, Agriculture, livestock, mining, fisheries, fruits and vegetables for exploiting this potential there is need to develop agro industry in the region. He said that value addition in local Agriculture would not only boost the GBs economy but also earn foreign exchange for the country through trade of these items. Qurban said that Pakistan has huge potential to convert its land to trade corridor for regional and world trade through its geo-economic location in the region. He said that a boost in trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan would maximize chances of regional economic integration and enhance the connectivity among neighboring countries. The Senior Business leader said that recently Pakistan and Afghanistan were mainly focusing on transit, bilateral and informal trade issues, which would be important for regional economic integration. He said Pakistan has already allowed Afghanistan to use Gwadar for its transit trade as the same was demanded by the Central Asian States to connect them with Gwadar port in near future. Now both sides were agreed to provide opportunities to Afghanistan trade items through Gwadar and Bin Qasim Ports in a good gesture to enhance the economic ties. He hoped that the review agreement of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) would also be expected to sign in coming months of 2021 and investment-related matters would be resolved in the recent bilateral dialogue between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Replying to a question, he said that Pakistan and African countries are initiating the new beginning through “Look Africa Campaign”, despite Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan with African Countries increased by seven percent in 2019-20. To a question whether Pakistan could utilize the potential markets of Kenya and Tanzania, he said exports to Kenya increased from US $ 265.1 million in 2018-19 to US $ 289.3 million in 2019-20, recording an increase of nine percent. He said a month ago in November, a four-member business delegation from Tanzania visited FPCCI during their visit to Pakistan. The delegation was led by the President Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Replying to issues of the business community, he said that “We will play a due role and will take all necessary initiatives to solve the problems faced by the business community of Pakistan and FPCCI will lead the struggle for economic growth through sustainable industrial growth. While he said that there are no differences between the Business Community of Pakistan, our group won the Elections of FPCCI 2021 and the business community is now united for the country’s economic development and growth. The Senior business leader said that now it’s our responsibility to take steps to resolve the issues and problems of the Business Community of Pakistan without any differences for the betterment of Pakistan and for the betterment of the Business Community of Pakistan. Qurban Ali demanded the Business Community of Pakistan to stand united from the platform of FPCCI, to make Pakistan economically developed and prosperous. While Vice President South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Chamber of Commerce Senator Haji Ghulam Ali, Vice President FPCCI, Muhammad Zahid Shah, Founder President Chitral Chamber, Sartaj Ahmed Khan and EC Members FPCCI Muhamamd Rafi, Hassan Abbas, Shahid Rafique, Sajjad Sarwar, Abaad Ali, Khalid Hafeez Paracha were present at the occasion and they congratulated the newly appointed Chairmen FPCCI Capital Office Qurban Ali. Qurban Ali also congratulated leadership of BMP ,former President FPCCI and Chairman BMP Mian Anjum Nisar, President SAARC CCI Senator Haji Ghulam Ali Vice and General Secretary BMP , Newly Elected President FPCCI Naseer Hayat Magoo , Senior Vice president FPCCI ,Khawaja Shahzaib Akram, , Vice President FPCCI Zahid Shah, Vice President FPCCI Ather Sultan Chawla, Haneef Lakhani Vice President FPCCI, Ch Saleem Bhallar, Vice President FPCCI Nasir Khan , Vice President FPCCI Farzana Baloch.