LAHORE: Over 0.1 million people belonging to all walks of life, including politicians, bureaucrats, business women and young entrepreneurs, visited a wide-range of 200 stalls during the three-day First Punjab Expo at the Expo Centre.The week-long Lahore Shopping Festival (LSF), a joint initiative of the Punjab government and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), concluded on Sunday. The festival had in its fold a number of events that generated around Rs 150 million economic activity in the city.Success of the festival highlighted the fact that the private sector has both the ability and the potential to bring the country out of the current economic mire.Though the visitors showed keen interest in all the products put on display at the First Punjab Expo, however, the Indonesian and Iranian products remained the greatest source of attraction for the visitors. Provincial Finance Minister Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa was the chief guest of the concluding ceremony, while DCO Ahad Cheema was the guest of honour.LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik, Senior Vice President Sh Muhammad Arshad, Vice President Sohail Azhar, and Executive Committee’s members also spoke on the occasion.
While speaking on the occasion, Khosa said that Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif’s vision to turn the province into a hub of economic activities would soon bear fruit.He reassured the LCCI office-bearers of the provincial government’s full support in all such upcoming events. He said that the CM was having meetings with potential foreign investors to attract investment in the province.Khosa said, “Today the country is faced with multiple internal and external challenges and we all should fulfil our respective responsibilities to cope with these challenges.”“If we are really sincere and serious about getting out of the current economic logjam, we will have to chalk-out an elaborate action plan aimed at reducing our dependence on external assistance and learn to rely on available resources, even if we have to sacrifice some of the comforts in the process to achieve our long-term goal of progress and prosperity,” he said.While appreciating the LCCI for arranging the Lahore Shopping Festival, Khosa said that such activities are absolutely necessary to convey to the world that Pakistanis as a nation are determined to acquire their due place in the global market and they would continue their struggle for economic revival in the country.
He said that it is not only education that rests on the priority list of the CM but he is equally worried about the fast widening gap between the rich and the poor and is currently taking appropriate measures to bridge this gap.In their address, the LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik, Senior Vice President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad and Vice President Sohail Azhar said that the Lahore Shopping Festival was aimed at promoting economic activities in the province and “the LCCI has achieved the goal in a winsome manner”. They said that the provincial government, particularly the CM, had extended matchless cooperation for the Lahore Shopping Festival that would yield the desired economic results. Separately, a cultural show was also held at the end of the concluding ceremony of the festival. – Dailytimes