Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Iffat Imran Gardezi has said that during her stay in the Netherlands as Pakistan’s Ambassador, she will be enthusiastically focusing on devising an effective “Trade Plan” with a view to promote Pakistani products and services which would result in improving the existing trade and investment ties between the two countries. Exchanging views during her visit to Karachi Chamber, the Ambassador asked Karachi Chamber to give its recommendations on how to improve trade and investment ties between Pakistan and the Netherlands, besides highlighting the available opportunities in some of the most promising sectors of Pakistan’s economy including the agrarian and textile sectors.
President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Naeem Sharif, Former SVP KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present at the meeting. Iffat Gardezi, who has also served in the United States, Germany, Austria and Hong Kong during her diplomatic career, said that it has always been an honor for her to represent Pakistan in different countries and she was looking forward to work really hard towards furthering relations between the Pakistani and Dutch business communities.
She extended full support and assistance to the business and industrial community of Karachi Chamber by Pakistan’s Embassy in Netherlands so that they could efficiently penetrate into the Dutch market.
“We must work as a team for promotion of Pakistani goods and services”, she stressed and assured to extensively examine the Dutch market during her stay and share details of the same with the business and industrial community of Karachi Chamber so that they could benefit by exporting numerous Pakistani products to the Netherlands which, besides strengthening trade relations, would also bring the business communities of the two countries more close to each other. She was of the opinion that collective efforts were required to deal with the economic crisis, particularly the descending exports being suffered by the country. “It is not a difficult task as it can easily be resolved with some structural changes and dedication”, Iffat Gardezi added.
Earlier President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, while welcoming Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, said that both countries have been enjoying good trade relations but plenty of room and lots of opportunities exist to further enhance the current trade volume. He said that exporters must not just remain limited to traditional products only but it was high time to go for diversification otherwise the exports will keep on descending.
Referring to GSP Plus scheme granted by European Union, President KCCI said that although it was an encouraging announcement and the business community was so excited as they were expecting a sharp appreciation in exports to European Union but unfortunately, it has not been witnessed so far mainly due to rising cost of doing business particularly the high tariffs of utilities services.
“Pakistan’s exports are descending whereas Bangladesh’s exports are ascending because of the fact that the cost of doing business in Bangladesh and other neighboring countries is much lower as compared to what it is in Pakistan which is the basic reason why our exporters have not been able to fully reap the benefits of GSP Plus Scheme”, he added while underscoring the need to provide a level-playing field to Pakistani exporters so that they could be able to efficiently compete in the international markets.
He said that Netherlands, being an advanced economy with high technology and expertise, can help Pakistan in building solar, wind, coal and bio-mass power generation infrastructure which would result in dealing with the current energy woes being faced by the country. Potential also exists for Dutch investments in energy saving, shipping, ports development, water purification, dairy farming agriculture etc., he added.
Younus Bashir, while stressing the need for a more proactive role by Pakistan’s Ambassadors and Commercial Counselors, opined that Pakistan can reap rich economic benefits by improving collaboration with Netherlands in the field of software exports and high tech value added products.
He further advised the Ambassador to look for the possibility of setting up Display Centers of Pakistani products at suitable locations, preferably at any Chamber of Commerce in Netherlands so that the Dutch business community could closely take a glimpse of the high-quality goods and services being offered by Pakistan.