KCCI highlights potential sectors for enhanced foreign investment and exports

Leader of a delegation from Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) Qamar Zaman, along with other Consul Generals and Trade/ Commercial Officers of Pakistan designated abroad, sought Karachi Chamber’s assistance in identifying the investment avenues and pinpointing the good products and services for exports so that the same could be effectively promoted in some of the lucrative markets around the world.

Exchanging views during their visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), PITAD delegates also stressed the need to hold regular meetings online with KCCI every month so that they could jointly explore trade and investment opportunities and create strong linkages between the business communities of Pakistan and their respective countries.

Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala (via Zoom), President KCCI Muhammad Idrees, Senior Vice President Abdul Rehman Naqi, Vice President KCCI Qazi Zahid Hussain, Chairman Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Subcommittee Ziaul Arfeen, Former Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan and KCCI Managing Committee members attended the meeting. Pakistan’s Consul Generals and Trade Officers designated to Turkey, India, Afghanistan, Russia, Germany, France, USA, Iran, China, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Belgium and Qatar were also present.

Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, in his remarks, said that the economy of Pakistan was in a very critical condition as the country was short of foreign exchange and facing a huge trade deficit of US$18 billion which can only be reduced by increasing the exports and reducing the imports. “The exports contribute 8 percent to Pakistan’s GDP, which needs to be enhanced to at least 12 percent”, he said and urged the Pakistani envoys to present and promote the positive image of Pakistan.

He thought that Pakistan had not been introduced properly. The negative propaganda has portrayed Pakistan as an unsafe or terrorist state, resisting residents of many countries from doing business with Pakistan. “We need to defeat this negative propaganda and promote the positive image of Pakistan as well as Made in Pakistan logo.”

“The overall situation in Pakistan is much better as law-and-order was no longer an issue while the people are friendly and peaceful. Karachi and Pakistan are blessed with beautiful places which need to be positively portrayed” Zubair Motiwala said, “The Karachi Chamber will always be available to assist and provide information wherever required fully.”

While referring to preferential customs duties and tariffs being given by the US to India and other competitors, Zubair Motiwala said that trade officers must lobby the US for preferential customs duties and tariffs to Pakistan so that more and more goods could be sent to the biggest export market for Pakistan. “If it is available to our rival countries but not us, it will not be possible for Pakistan to export more”, he opined.

He further commented that Tajikistan was the gateway to CIS countries, an important and lucrative region where goods could be exported through land routes. Although Pakistani fruits were already going to CIS countries, there was much room for further expanding trade to this important region through Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

He was confident that Pakistan’s exports could easily be enhanced by giving trade/ commercial officers targets and incentivizing them upon achieving the targets.

Earlier, President KCCI, in his welcome address, urged the Consul Generals and Trade Officers to focus on exploring opportunities for diversifying Pakistan’s exports and promoting investment opportunities available here. “You must also promote the establishment of flight connectivity and look into the status of banking channels so that trade can be aided. We need out of the box solutions if Pakistan’s external sector is to be developed”.

While highlighting the potential sectors for trade and investment as well as import substitution, President KCCI particularly mentioned that there was a need to undertake joint ventures in Pakistan’s agriculture sector to improve the yields of the product through the implementation of new techniques as well as improve the processing facilities, warehousing, cold chain etc. 

Considering the vast potential in dairy processing, investment can be attracted in mini pasteurization plants, milk chilling units, storage facilities and refrigerated transport systems etc. Moreover, the Halal food processing, food and beverages processing industry, and poultry farming also offer good investment opportunities to foreign investors.

He further noted that Karachi’s vast coastal belt provides ample opportunities for aquaculture development and extensive plans were underway to expand fish farming; hence more foreign players with experience in this field could take advantage of the situation. Furthermore, the offshore mangrove forests in Karachi’s vicinity also provide lucrative prospects for shrimp farming.

He said that there was a lot of untapped potential in the Blue Economy of Pakistan as various revenue-generating activities exist under the umbrella of the Blue Economy, including Renewable Energy, Fisheries, Maritime Transport, Tourism, Waste management and a lot more. “Therefore, investment can be invited in this area.”

He believed that investment could also be invited in expanding the capabilities of Pakistan’s textile sector or inviting investors to partner with local players to expand globally. The textile sector alone represents 46% of the total manufacturing sector and around 40% of the full labour force. In contrast, it was heartening to see that textiles exports stood at $14.5 billion in FY21, which can be improved further through diversification.

CAPTION:

President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry Muhammad Idrees presented a crest to Leader of a delegation from Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) Qamar Zaman during the visit of PITAD delegation. Senior Vice President KCCI Abdul Rehman Naqi, Vice President Qazi Zahid Hussain, Chairman Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Subcommittee Ziaul Arfeen, Former Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan and others are also seen in the picture.

 
 

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