Foreign diplomats visit the offices of the FPCCI and the LCCI – Business & Finance
LAHORE: A delegation of Filipino diplomats stationed in Islamabad paid a visit to the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Monday.
The delegation included Chargé d’Affaires, Head of the Philippine Mission to Pakistan, Maria Agnes M. Cervantes, Honorary Consul General Fahdel Sheikh, Vice Consul Dan Bagaporo and Economic Assistant Sumaira Bibi.
The Philippine Embassy and the FPCCI have agreed to organize and exchange trade and investment missions to further enhance bilateral trade and investment.
Maria Agnes M. Cervantes highlighted the close ties between the Philippines and Pakistan since 1949, adding that the high-level exchanges and agreements signed by the two countries testify to the close relationship.
On the occasion, FPCCI Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines, particularly the Export Trade Promotion Bureau and the Federation of Chambers Commerce and Industry of Pakistan, had also signed an agreement for the establishment of JBC. . He added that it was surprising that despite substantial friendly relations, our trade volume is low at only US$196 million, of which Pakistan’s share of exports to the Philippines was US$127 million. Americans. One of the reasons for the low volume of bilateral trade is that the two sides limit themselves to a few items of bilateral exports and imports.
FPCCI Regional Chairman Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi said a mechanism should be established to promote cooperation in all areas of common interest to oversee cooperation in economic, commercial and technical fields. Relevant national institutions should hold consultations on prospects for cooperation in areas of common interest. He added that seminars and exhibitions should be held in Pakistan and the Philippines to publicize each other’s products. It is essential to have an effective system for issuing business visas.
Meanwhile, Ambassador of Nepal Tapas Adhikari, Ambassador of Azerbaijan Khazar Farhadov and Ambassador of Turkmenistan Atadjan Movlamov visited Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in one day and had in-depth discussion on trade and economic ties between Pakistan and their respective countries.
LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir gave the welcome speeches while Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan and Vice President Haris Ateeq also addressed the occasion. The members of the executive committee were also present at the meetings.
Nepal’s Ambassador, Tapas Adhikari, said Nepal considers Pakistan a privileged partner and wants to expand its trade relations. He said that the Nepal Chamber has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the implementation of the Lahore Chamber on which in the truest sense of the words can help to increase bilateral trade. While calling for an exchange of business delegations between the two countries, the ambassador said he himself would soon bring a delegation of Nepalese businessmen to Pakistan.
Azerbaijani Ambassador Khazar Farhadov said the Lahore Chamber plays a key role in maintaining good economic relations between the two countries. He said Pakistan is a strong country and supported Azerbaijan in difficult times. “We want to further improve trade relations with Pakistan,” the ambassador said, adding that cultural cooperation should be encouraged.
Turkmenistan’s Ambassador Atadjan Movlamov said his country attaches great importance to improving relations with Pakistan and wants to speed up work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project. He said a logistics hub has been established for transit trade in Turkmenistan, but a single route cannot meet the requirements, so access to Karachi and Gwadar ports is very important.
Speaking to the Ambassador of Nepal, LCCI Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir said that Pakistan and Nepal are members of SAARC and have had friendly relations since 1960s. We continue to stress for having a well-designed strategy to ensure regional peace through the maintenance of trade and economic relations between SAARC countries. Nepal, being a landlocked country between China and India, understands better than others the importance of regional trade. He said that Nepal has an import-driven economy with imports far exceeding exports. In 2021, the value of its total imports was around $15.8 billion against total exports which were only $1.7 billion.
Mian Nauman Kabir said it is notable facts that Nepal has to depend a lot on India and China for importing basic materials. India and China’s shares were nearly 61% and 15% respectively in the total imports which amounted to $12 billion in 2021. He said that regarding our trade relationship between the Pakistan and Nepal, we need to adopt innovative ways to know more about the potential areas of each. Despite long and cordial relations, the total trade volume between the two countries remained limited to 7.3 million dollars in 2021.
LCCI Vice President Haris Ateeq said Lahore Chamber would be glad to partner with Nepal Ambassador to plan some activities which can play supporting role in introducing more Pakistani products. in Nepal. He said that Pakistani products are the best and can easily meet the needs of the Nepalese market.
During his meeting with the Ambassador of Azerbaijan, the LCCI Chairman said that Pakistan and Azerbaijan have unique historical, religious, cultural and political commonalities that transcend geographical distances. Pakistan and Azerbaijan enjoy good diplomatic relations, but we have not yet succeeded in translating these ties into maintaining healthy bilateral trade.
The LCCI Chairman said that according to trade figures from the State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan’s exports to Azerbaijan in 2021-22 were $6.3 million while our imports were not than $1.5 million. This basically means that the total trade volume between two countries is still less than $10 million. It is necessary to explore ways to increase trade between the two countries. He said Azerbaijan’s total global imports are over $11 billion. Azerbaijan’s pharmaceutical imports are around $528 million, tractor parts $110 million, furniture $197 million, edible fruits $135 million and dairy products $157 million. dollar etc Pakistan can easily supply these products to Azerbaijan.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022