Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Pazak Dawood has assured the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry to resolve the issue of 203 (8) and invoices soon. While speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said, “I will talk to the finance minister in this regard.” The advisor said the Prime Minister Imran Khan will have meetings with the presidents of the chambers of country to set export targets the next year. He said Pakistan is shifting to manufacturing state from trading. He said Uzbekistan has acquired 25 acres of land that will increase trade between the two countries. He said that the government is going to sign a transit trade agreement with Uzbekistan. He said that two flights between Pakistan and Uzbekistan will start soon. Dawood said Pakistan must focus on enhancing regional trade which remains very low and must be exploited. Calling for increase in regional trade, he gave the example of the European Union where regional trade was 90 percent. Abdul Razak Dawood shared details of the agreements and MoUs concluded during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to Uzbekistan, saying it was a successful visit. He informed the meeting that 71 agreements were signed between the two countries. He invited the businessmen to take part in the single-country exhibition to be held in Tashkent soon. He added that economic and industrial boost was on government’s top agenda. He assured businessmen that all problems of the industrial sector would be resolved amicably. “The commerce ministry is actively engaging with all relevantstakeholders to understand the issues related to trade and investment in currentchallenging situation,” he added. LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that the Ministry of Commerce deserves special appreciation on the remarkable export performance of Pakistan as the Export figure for 2020-21 has crossed $25. He also appreciated that in line with the LCCI’s recommendations to reduce the cost of doing business and promote industrialisation, the government has reduced custom duties, regulatory duties and additional custom duty on the import of raw materials of various industries e.g. food processing, tourism, footwear, poultry, paint, chemicals, artificial leather, paperboard, optical fibers and electronics manufacturing etc. This will certainly help to enhance the export competitiveness of these sectors. The LCCI President highlighted the issue of the new clause 203 (B) through which exorbitant powers have given to the government committee to arrest and prosecute business community. He said that this is against the spirit of business friendly environment according to the vision of our honourableprime minister. He recommended that this clause should be withdrawn through a special amendment. Mian Tariq Misbah said that exorbitant fines have been imposed on the importers under section (28)156 of the Finance Bill if they for any reason are not able to complete the paperwork for redemption of their shipments. This clause is also against the spirit of a business friendly environment and therefore it should bewithdrawn.