Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Karachi is an economic hub of the country and his government will not allow terrorists, anti-state and anti-social elements to destroy peace in the city, which has been achieved at a heavy price.

“The attack on Chinese teachers and the blast in Saddar are condemnable acts and we will comb out the terrorists involved in these two incidents,” he remarked while speaking at the launch of “My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony” exhibition on Friday.

The three-day fair is being organised by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) at the Expo Centre.

Shah said that he was glad that the KCCI resumed the tradition of organising the annual expo after a two-year suspension amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He welcomed the national and international exhibitors for putting in efforts to promote business activities and attracting local and foreign buyers and counterparts.

The chief minister pointed out that it was not the first time he was speaking at the launching ceremony of the My Karachi exhibition. “This is his (Siraj Kassim Teli’s) brilliant initiative as a president of KCCI in 2004 to organise an international trade fair in the city,” he said and added that he had taken those decisions to change the perception of Karachi and promote it as a peaceful and business-friendly city.

The CM said that Karachi had its own significance as an important economic hub and always remained on the radars of savvy investors for bringing investments from around the world.

He added that the provincial government was making all-out efforts to create conducive environment for attracting investment by reducing the cost of manufacturing and removing the irritants bound to slow down the wheels of industry.

Shah said that such exhibitions played a major role in the economic prosperity of the country as they provided a great deal of benefit ranging from creating trade linkages to generating economic activities.

“The role of chambers in manifesting the industrial and commercial growth of a country is no doubt quite vital,” he stressed.

Speaking on the occasion, Businessmen Group Chairman Zubair Motiwala said that despite the blast in Saddar on Thursday night, the full house at the Expo Centre with the presence of chief minister, provincial ministers and diplomats showed the resilience of the city’s business community.

“Karachi will continue to exhibit resilience and we will never succumb to what the terrorists and other anti-state elements have been doing,” he said.

KCCI President Muhammad Idrees stated that since its inception in 2004, the My Karachi exhibition kept improving every year and it was a challenging task to stage the huge show in just three available halls, but all efforts were made to accommodate as many stalls as possible.

“More than 250 stalls have been established in the three halls and outer area of the Expo Centre,” he told the audience.

Idrees revealed that revenue generation from the exhibition had enhanced from just Rs2 million in 2014 to Rs35 million in 2022.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2022.

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