Foreign delegates from China, Hong Kong, Germany, Tunisia and Indonesia have expressed seriousness towards undertaking joint ventures and exploring investment opportunities in Pakistan, particularly Karachi where the mainstream business and economic activities continue to take place in full swing and the improved law & order situation has resulted in attracting many potential investors from around the world who are keen to initiate or expand business ties with their counterparts in Karachi.
While exchanging views with President Karachi Chamber Muffasar Atta Malik, Senior Vice President KCCI Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Vice President M. Rehan Hanif and KCCI Managing Committee Members at the B2B sessions held at Karachi Chamber’s Pavilion at the ongoing 10th Expo Pakistan Exhibition, foreign businesspersons, investors and industrialists mostly inquired about the potential sectors, security situation, investment policies, business climate, taxation policies and the incentives being offered to foreign investors, besides seeking ways and means of how to create a strong liaison and improve collaboration between KCCI and other Chambers of Commerce around the world in order to facilitate trade and investments.
Leader of a delegation from Hong Kong and Vice President of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong (PCCHK), Dr. Ellen Lau, who was also accompanied by Consul General of Pakistan in Hong Kong Abdul Qadir Memon and other delegates, said that the delegation was looking forward for investment opportunities in the Health, Education, Infrastructure Development, Mining, Banking and other important sectors of the economy.
She said that Karachi city has developed very well and this was the right time to invest here. Keeping in view the improved situation, many Airlines from Hong Kong and China were pretty much interested in expanding their flight operations to Karachi. PCCHK and KCCI must work together and make collective efforts to facilitate trade and investment, she added.
On the occasion, Pakistan’s Consul General in Hong Kong Abdul Qadir Memon advised KCCI and PCCHK to jointly organize Trade & Investment Conference either in Karachi or Hong Kong which will not only help in bringing the business communities more close to each other but will also prove favorable in terms of exploring new avenues of trade and investment cooperation. To a query, Abdul Qadir Memon said that Pakistan’s Embassy is working closely with the government of Hong Kong in order to ease the visa issuance process for the business and industrial community.
Ambassador of Tunisia, Adel Elarbi, while sharing views with KCCI Office Bearers, said that the business community of Pakistan can surely benefit by expanding trade and investment ties with Tunisia which is very near to European and African Markets. He said that Pakistan and Tunisia have been enjoying excellent relations and the Tunisian business community often visits Pakistan but not much trade missions from Pakistan were visiting Tunisia which requires attention. “We hope to see business community of Karachi Chamber visiting Tunisia in near future. The business communities will have to meet each other more frequently as we have a lot to learn from each other’s experience”, he added.
Referring to the negotiations for signing Preferential Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Tunisia, he hoped that this PTA between the two brotherly countries will be inked soon which will open a host of opportunities for enhancing trade. “Being an agricultural country, Tunisia produces some of the best and finest quality dates, olive oils and other agricultural commodities which can be supplied to Pakistan”, he added.
Tunisian Ambassador assured to give special treatment in visa issuance to the businessmen and industrialists of Karachi who want to explore Tunisia trade, investment and tourism opportunities.
A German delegation, which was led by Manager International Affairs Metro AG, Moritz Seiler stated that although Metro was successfully doing business in Pakistan but now they want to further expand their operations by opening more franchising stores.
Chief International Officer of White Tec Germany, Norbert W. Hartung, while briefing about the overall operations of WhiteTec, stated that his company mechanically converts all forms of garbage and wastes to carbon within minutes and this technology of converting garbage to carbon can also be introduced in Pakistan which can be used for different purposes including raw material for many industries, power generation and textile manufacturing etc. “This technology is capable of converting garbage to carbon within 4 to 5 minutes and can be mounted on an area of 1,000 sq. meters with a capacity to convert 900 tons per day”, he added.
A Chinese delegation from Chongqing led by President of China Pakistan Economic & Trade Association, Xing Ping expressed keenness to supply auto spare parts and desalination plants in Karachi and explore opportunities of undertaking joint ventures in both these sectors.
The Indonesian delegation led by Vice Chairman of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mufti Hanka Hasan stated that Pakistan and Indonesia have been enjoying good trade relations and Indonesia has trade surplus but efforts have to be made to make it ‘balanced’.
Referring to President KCCI’s suggestions, he said that the Indonesian Business Community will look on how to capitalize Special Economic Zones being established across Pakistan under CPEC project.
Exchanging views with foreign delegates, President Karachi Chamber Muffasar Atta Malik pointed out that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has opened huge number of investment opportunities for foreign investors who can surely benefit by setting up their businesses in 9 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being established across the country under CPEC project. “Two of these SEZs are being established in Karachi where foreign investors can either set up their businesses or undertake joint ventures which would surely create a win-win situation, keeping in view the investment potential of this city”, he added.
He was of the opinion that the improved law and order situation across the country along with the CPEC project have paved way for the economic boost in the next 7 to 10 years, making Pakistan the hub of economic activities of the region and a reliable gateway giving easy access to not just China but also to other Central Asian Republics and beyond.
Underscoring the need to strengthen ties between Karachi Chamber and its peer Chambers around the world, Muffasar Malik stated that some kind of mechanism has to be put in place so that the Chambers could play a more proactive role in building and further improving relations between the business communities.
Muffasar Malik also stressed the need to organize seminars, conference, trade delegations and other business promotional activities which would yield positive results.