‘Need to enhance interaction between private sectors of Pakistan, Argentine’

February 28, 2014: dailytimes
KARACHI: Efforts should be made for enhancing exchange of trade delegations and interaction between the private sectors of Pakistan and Argentine would certainly pave way for improved trade relations.

The Ambassador of Argentine Republic Rodolfo Martin Saravia at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) pointed out both countries have been enjoying good bilateral trade relation since past 25 years. Trade volume has always remained in favour of Argentine, except last year when it was in favour of Pakistan.

“We should work hard on how to improve trade regardless of considering whether it favours Pakistan or Argentine”, he added.

Rodolfo Saravia advised Pakistani businessmen to focus on diversifying exports to Argentine as remaining confined to traditional goods would never yield positive results. There is also a great scope of cooperation between the two countries in other sectors like textile, pharmaceuticals, livestock, dairy, agriculture etc and sky is the limit in bilateral relations. Pakistan has huge market for meat and Argentine can help in meat processing for its export and local consumption, he added.

Commenting on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) crisis currently being faced by Pakistan, he opined the CNG crises being faced today were due to wrong policies adopted by the governments from time to time. Initially people were encouraged to convert their vehicles from petrol to CNG and around 4 to 5 million people converted their vehicles.

More than 5,000 CNG stations were also established across the country to meet the rising demand and now everyone suffers due to lack of CNG.

Millions of people have now converted their vehicles to CNG and they simply cannot go back, he added.

Rodolfo admitted business visa was one of the major problems being faced by Pakistanis willing to visit Argentine but the businessmen should meet certain requirements due to security concerns in order to become eligible for visa issuance.

President KCCI Abdullah Zaki said Pakistan exported goods worth $51 million to Argentina, while imports from Argentina totaled $37 million during fiscal year 2013.

Pakistan’s exports to Argentina include man-made staple fibers, cotton and cotton fabric and sports goods. Imports from Argentina to Pakistan are mainly vegetable and animal oils, vegetables, leather, iron and steel and pharmaceutical products, he added

There was a significant potential to enhance trade between the two countries in the fields of agriculture, alternate energies, pharmaceuticals and CNG buses could serve as key sectors for starting joint ventures between the two nations.

There is also need of effective utilisation of trade talks, exhibitions and other trade strategies for promotion of bilateral trade between the two countries, he added.

Vice President KCCI Muhammad Idrees advised the Ambassador to set up a Consulate along with Commercial Office in Karachi in order to facilitate the business community of Karachi, which was the financial hub of the country.

He requested the Ambassador to assist KCCI in promoting My Karachi-Oasis of Harmony International Exhibition, which is likely to be attended by more than 1 million visitors on June 20 to 22, 2014 at Karachi Expo Centre.

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