The Chamber of Commerce plays a key role in supporting businesses and the private sector at all levels of the economy. Over the years we have seen that fueling the private sector development drives economic growth. The chambers’ across the globe make significant contributions in developing strategies for sustainability of businesses and job creation.
The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) aspires to be the best in the SAARC countries through growth in business volumes, turnovers, exports and contribution in tax revenues.
“We consider that a targeted approach for business development in Pakistan requires advocacy on policies. We are a resource center for local businesses and our agenda is to facilitate them as much as we can”
Shahid Khalil, Secretary Lahore chamber.
The Chamber facilitates organizations that aim to train local businesses so they are well equipped to target opportunities offered by international markets. It also believes that an enabling business environment requires more linkages and PR development. Through business expos, the chamber facilitates linkages between the local and international businesses. The Lahore chamber facilitates expos and at times uses it as a tool to break the economic slump.
“Business expo is the perfect avenue for startups and for people who want to invest in new businesses. There’s no better a place to be at; it gives you the right information and at times, your first business client”, adds Mian Abuzar Shad, former VP at LCCI.
The SMEs and startups do not have the capacity to deal with the complex legal and regulatory bodies. The chamber considers it a priority to deal with the regulatory bodies to create a conducive business environment. As a result of this, the current VP at the Lahore chamber, Mr. Almas Hyder is advocating for the ease of doing business in Pakistan.
The chamber is reviewing the data and policies of other countries that have successfully installed a system that aids business creation and sustainability. Mr. Hyder’s team has come up with considerable recommendations for the government to consider.
Both the Provincial and Federal governments are taking interest in the Chamber’s activities. A successful implementation of these recommendations will change things for the better and improve Pakistan’s rankings on the global business index.
While Chambers in Pakistan involve multiple large players for sustainable development, they are often criticized also for not actively negotiating for the SMEs. The SME sector suffers from nonvisibility and structured coordination; hence no single effective strategy is in place for SME development across the country.
The advocacy program, like ease of doing business can be recognized as a change agent for the growth of private sector and SMEs. The global markets are growing complex and that requires SMEs and chambers to focus on common goals. A coherent policy and effort can strengthen business interests and existing initiatives.