President of Thai-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce (TPCC) Firdos Ali has underscored the need to initiate a strong liaison between the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Thai-Pakistan Chamber to assist the business communities of both countries in finding the right and reliable partners for business. Exchanging views with KCCI Office Bearers and Managing Committee members during his visit to Karachi Chamber, Firdos Ali added that Thai businessmen have been facing immense hardship in identifying the right partners for business in Pakistan and the same must also be happening when Pakistani business community will also be looking forward to enhance trade with Thai business community. “It has been observed in numerous cases that business deals remained unsuccessful and Thai businessmen were ‘robbed’ by some unscrupulous elements. Therefore, in order to effectively deal with this issue, close collaboration between TPCC and KCCI is a must”, he added.
President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, Senior Vice President Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Vice President Rehan Hanif and KCCI Managing Committee members attended the meeting. President TPCC stressed that KCCI should exchange information about reliable businessmen and the same will also be done by TPCC in response to KCCI’s inquiry about any Thai businessman, ensuring successful deals between business communities of the two countries, besides helping in building the confidence, reputation and the image of Pakistan.
While commenting on Free Trade Agreement (FTA), President TPCC said that Thai business community anxiously awaits signing of FTA between Pakistan and Thailand which was taking too long. He was fairly optimistic that the much-awaited FTA will be inked in the next four to five months which would prove beneficial for both sides.
He said that TPCC was formed in 2005 and comprises of business community members of Pakistani origin who have been living and success doing business in Thailand. As compared to KCCI, TPCC is a small chamber but it enjoys close liaison with all other Chambers in Thailand and efforts are being made to encourage Thai businessmen to become TPCC members which can be approached for any kind of assistance.
He informed that TPCC was also a member of Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) which comprises of representatives from Chambers of Commerce around the world including UK, India, Sri Lanka, Canada and Japan etc. He advised KCCI to become member of JFCCT where business community representatives from some of the important markets gather under JFCCT umbrella to discuss matters of mutual interest.
Firdos Ali further requested Karachi Chamber to arrange a visit of KCCI’s delegation to Thailand which will be fully assisted by TPCC in order to make the delegation’s visit successful and result-oriented.
Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik assured that KCCI will look into the possibility of sharing information about credible businessmen and industrialists with TPCC in order to ensure prosperous businesses and growth in trade relations between the two countries. “In this regard, KCCI has inked many MoUs with Chambers of Commerce around the world and we will look into the possibility of having a similar MoU with TPCC as well which would help in finding the right business partners”, he added.
He said that Pakistan’s perception was terribly tarnished during the past so many years mainly due to negative reporting by the western media but now as the situation has radically improved, there is a dire need to project the improved security situation across Pakistan in order to clarify numerous misconceptions. He was of the opinion that this was the right time to invest in Pakistan, particularly Karachi as the country is going to witness substantial economic growth in the next five to ten years due to unlimited opportunities emerging out of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
CPEC’s first phase comprising construction of roads and electricity supply will be completed by June 2018 which will be followed by construction of 9 Special Economic Zones (Two in each province and one in Gilgit-Baltistan) as well. Two of these SEZs will be established in Karachi where Thai business and industrial community can set up their business either exclusively or through joint ventures with their counterparts in Pakistan, he added.
Muffasar Malik was of the opinion that great potential exists to enhance bilateral trade, investment and cooperation between Pakistan and Thailand. The signing of FTA would certainly yield good result by enhancing Pak-Thai trade volume from the existing $1 billion to $2 billion within the span of next five years.
“Furthermore, there exist potential to collaborate in the field of trade, culture, infrastructure development, science and technology, defense, education and tourism”, he opined adding that the Karachi Chamber was keen to strengthen trade ties and explore new bilateral trade prospects with Thailand as Pakistan’s improved relations and enhanced trade with countries like Thailand would surely help in dealing with numerous economic challenges being faced by the country and prove favorable in further strengthening the existing trade ties between the two countries.
President KCCI, while inviting Thai business community to participate in 15th My Karachi Exhibition, requested President TPCC to extend support and cooperation towards promoting KCCI’s Exhibition scheduled to be organized in the month of April next year which would provide a perfect platform to Thai businessmen and Industrialists to showcase their products and services in front of more than 1 million visitors of the exhibition.