“An Emerging Crossroad for Trade & Investment.”
ICC Regional Foreign Direct Investment Conference, Karachi
February 17-18, 2002
THE KARACHI BUSINESS DECLARATION
February 20, 2002
World Business, as represented by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and its National Committees, believes strongly that a liberalized economy open to the world is a powerful force for raising living standards in Pakistan. Indeed the market economy has already brought unprecedented advances in material welfare to millions of people on every continent. Business accepts that, with government, it has an indispensable role to play in explaining the benefits and opportunities that flow from a rules-based multilateral trading system, the market economy, and readiness to adapt to change. Fears and misconceptions must be dispelled. Local and international business will work with the Government of Pakistan, supporting its efforts to establish the good governance necessary to achieve these ends.
ICC and ICC Pakistan promote free enterprise and the highest standards of business conduct in a deregulated business environment. Legitimate private enterprise is an incalculably valuable asset for all nations through its contribution towards development, living standards and government revenues. It is essential that companies are able to operate on a level playing field.
An orderly, stable society, able to prosper from private entrepreneurship, requires a framework of essential rules administered impartially by strong, efficient and transparent government – the essence of “good governance”. Governments and business must work closely together to design the multilateral rules for the rapidly emerging global market place.
ICC has consultative status at the highest level with the UN and its specialized agencies. ICC’s national committee in Pakistan provides a channel of consultation to the Government of Pakistan. Both ICC and ICC Pakistan are convinced that the maintenance of peaceful conditions between and within sovereign states is crucial to enable the region to realize the benefits of an outward-looking market economy. The absence of political conflict is a precondition for local entrepreneurship to flourish and for foreign business to invest.
It is of fundamental importance that governments ensure consistency and continuity of the reform process. Policy towards business must be free from excessive regulation and market distortions that harm open and fair competition. Laws designed to promote trade and local and foreign investment must be faithfully implemented. Most important of all, governments must suppress corruption at every level.
Rhetoric is not enough. There must be action to achieve these aims so that economic progress can provide the key to poverty alleviation, improved education and health services, and social welfare.
ICC Pakistan in particular emphasizes the following:
1. Privatization, Deregulation and Liberalization
3. IT, E-commerce and Telecommunication
4. Transport, Shipping and Logistics
5. IPR and Copyrights
6. Private Sector Participation in the Reconstruction of Afghanistan
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