Speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani has asked the business community of Islamabad to explore and capitalise on the tourism potential in KP as the province offers tremendous opportunities of investment in tourism and many other sectors. The speaker of KP Assembly said this while addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) on Thursday. Ghani said that ICCI should come up with a proposal for investment in KP and assured that he would fully support them in exploring joint ventures (JVs) and investment in his province. He said that there are many avenues of investment for the business community on the public private partnership basis in KP that should be exploited for business promotion. He said that the government’s drive against smuggling is producing positive results as it has helped the local industry get a boost. He also briefed the business community about religious tourism potential in KP as it possesses many historical places for the followers of various religions. He termed the business community as the backbone of the economy, saying the government is working to create a more conducive environment for them. He fully endorsed the ICCI proposal for a 2 percent fixed tax for traders in the coming budget that would broaden the tax base and improve tax revenue of the country. Speaking at the occasion, ICCI President Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that many investors of the federal capital are interested to invest in tourism, hospitality and other sectors in KP and stressed that the provincial government should focus on more conducive policies to attract more investors. He said that tourism is capital-intensive investment with a 7 to 10 years payback period; therefore, the government should cut duties and taxes on the import of items and equipment used in tourism-related sectors, including hotel industry, to attract more investment in this sector. He said that Pakistan has the export potential of up to $200 billion that could be realised by focusing on facilitation and better promotion of export-oriented industries. Khan said that the government should introduce a 2 percent fixed tax for traders in the coming budget that would expand the tax base and increase tax revenue of the country. He said that the large number of taxes and complicated taxation system are major hurdles in enhancing tax revenue and reducing the number of taxes with rationalisation of tax rates should be the way forward for the government to improve tax revenue. ICCI SVP Fatma Azim, VP Abdul Rehman Khan, Mehboob Ahmed Khan, Rana Qaiser Shehzad, Aslam Khokhar, Ashraf Farzand, Khalid Chaudhry and others also shared ideas with the speaker KP on matters of economic interest.