ISLAMABAD (APP) – President Mamnoon Hussain Tuesday said that the general election was being held in Pakistan during this month, which would further strengthen the democratic and political system.

“I am confident that the upcoming democratic government will continue this process of economic development and welfare of the masses,” he said while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Ambassadors annual dinner here.

By the grace of Allah Almighty, the President said, Pakistan was forging ahead on the path of development and prosperity after eradicating the menace of terrorism, adding that economic indicators were showing an impressive improvement and the country’s stock markets were performing well due to the effective policies of the government.

“I can say with full confidence that Pakistan has become a most attractive destination for local and foreign investment and the vast improvement in law and order has enhanced the business activities and confidence of the investors,” he added.

Now, the President said, it was the responsibility of business community to reap optimal benefits from those opportunities and to further strengthen their commercial and economic relations internationally, with the cooperation of the diplomatic corps based in Pakistan.

Over the past few years, he said the government had painstakingly formulated economic policies for creating a business friendly environment in the country. As a result the process of making investment in Pakistan had been made easy due to the investor-friendly regime, which was one of the most flexible in the region, a fact recognized internationally, he added.

He said foreign investors could invest in Pakistan on the basis of 100% ownership and also repatriate profit without any unnecessary impediment. Likewise, Pakistani exporters had also been provided special incentive for loans on minimum interest rates and import of machinery and raw material, he added.

The President said the measures had made Pakistan one of the most investment friendly countries in the region. He hoped that diplomatic corps based in Pakistan would play a positive role in that regard by urging the investors, traders and industrialists of their respective countries to avail the opportunities.

Due to Pakistan’s strategic geographical location and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, the President said Pakistan was becoming the center of attention to fulfill the future economic needs.

He said the Gwadar Port was emerging as a gateway for countries of the region, including the Central Asian countries, adding that the emerging regional developments provided ample opportunities to raise the standards of living of the common man.

The President said it was his earnest desire that all countries in the region and beyond join together in the journey of mutual progress.

He urged the diplomatic corps that Pakistan wanted to fully utilizing their gracious presence here and was determined to further expand its economic and trade ties with all countries, adding that in this regard, proactive role of the diplomatic community was of vital importance and expected that they would continue sincere efforts in this direction.

The President said it was imperative to further enhance relations with the trading partners and ensure greater access of Pakistani products to new markets especially in the emerging economies.

He hoped that businessmen and industrialists expand their business by exploring new trade centers in addition to the traditional markets. He said it was heartening to note that the business community was also looking for new opportunities to promote non-traditional trade along-with the conventional trade sectors.

In this context, the President said, it was important to focus on Value Added Products and expressed the hope that these efforts would be successful.

Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of Turkmenistan said Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry was one of the largest chamber in Pakistan and playing its role in economic development of the country.

He said the LCCI was in close interaction with foreign missions in Islamabad and proactively playing its role in promoting Pakistani products abroad.

Minister for Finance Shamsahd Akhtar, Minister for Commerce Mian Misbah ur Rehman and a number of ambassadors and high commissioners of various countries attended the annual dinner of LCCI.

Earlier, LCCI President Malik Tahir Javed, in his welcome address, said Pakistan had proven itself in a better position in various sectors of economy. He said Pakistan was an attractive destination for Halal food, Basmati rice, pharmaceuticals, food processing, tourism.

He said Pakistan was a potential market for fresh investment. He said role of heads diplomats was of paramount importance in that regard.