Press Release Australian High Commissioner: Agriculture
March 20, 2013
Faisalabad: Australia highly desire to enhance trade and political relations with Pakistan, trade potential between both the countries need to be tapped, said High commissioner of Australia in Pakistan Mr. Peter Heyward, while addressing to the members of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) here today.
He thanked for inviting him at FCCI and said that Australia and Pakistan have a longer and productive economic relationship with historic similarities and huge potential exists between both the countries. He said that there is greater potential available in textile, dairy and agriculture mechanization in Pakistan and Australia is already providing technical assistance in dairy development and other areas.
He stated that more than hundred students are being provided scholarships by Australian Government for study there. He said that Australia is providing assistance to improve the standard of education particularly in technical education, promoting technology along with developing business and investment opportunities in the private sectors and strengthening the relationship which would allow the trading partners from Pakistan to increase access to Australian markets, providing opportunities to increase exports and promote Pakistan.
He said that he has full desire that international cricket should be restored in Pakistan and he is in touch with Australian Cricket Board in this context. He said that will induce the Australian Companies to invest in Pakistan particularly in energy and other potential sectors. He assured his full cooperation and assistance to the FCCI trade delegation due to leave Australia next month. He however, lamented that due to sectarian and religious extremism incidences, foreign investors are reluctant to invest in Pakistan and emphasized on the need to improve the security situation.
Earlier in his Welcome Address to the Australian High Commissioner, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) Mian Zahid Aslam, said Pakistan and Australia have always enjoyed extremely cordial and friendly relations and common perception about most of the international political and economic issues. Australia’s generous assistance during Super floods and earthquake in the past years, enhanced cooperation and assistance in the fields of education , agriculture and vocational training is quite appreciative, he added.
He appreciated the Australian Government development cooperation which has increased from $ 16 million in 2006-07 to $ 96 million in 2012-13. The bilateral relations are progressing day by day and Australia and Pakistan will be good partners in the days to come, he said.
He said that trade between the two countries is progressing but still not upto the mark and leaves much to be desired. The bilateral trade during 2011 was US$ 602 million where Pakistan’s exports were US$ 166 million against imports from Australia $ 436 million, in favor of Australia. Major export from Pakistan are textile articles, sets, articles of apparel, worn clothing, cereals, cotton, leather, animal gut, travel goods while major imports are edibles, vegetable fats, cotton, fertilizers, minerals, fuels and oils.
He said Pakistan has vast potential for investment by Australian companies in different sectors like energy, agriculture mechanization and technological assistance. However, due to prolonged energy deficit in Pakistan, power sector offers great investment potential for Australian Companies in hydel, coal, solar, wind and renewables. There are also prospects for growth in trade and investment particularly in education, agribusiness, mining, processed foods and ITC products and services, he added.
He said that FCCI Trade Delegation for Australia is planned in April, 2013 and solicited support for extensive interaction with the business community there. We hope that such delegations need to be organized on reciprocal basis so that the business deals discussed between the counterparts of both the countries get matured, he added.
Ch., Muhammd Boota, Vice President FCCI, former President, Kh Asem Khursid and Muzammal Sultan, Mr. Rehan Ashfaq Sheikh, Haji Muhammad Abid and Ch. Talat Mehmood, Executive Committee Members and Shahid Mumtaz Bajwa, Chairman Floor Mills Association shared their views on the occasion.
Agriculture in Pakistan