Honorary Consul of Republic of Mauritius Sohail Yasin Suleman has formally invited the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to visit Mauritius which offers abundant trade and investment opportunities to the business and industrial community of Karachi. Speaking at a meeting during his visit to KCCI, he said that although Mauritius itself was a small country with a population 1.3 million but it was the gateway to 47 countries in Africa with a huge population of 650 million. “The business and industrial community of Karachi can have duty free access to all these countries through Mauritius”, he added.
President KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo, Senior Vice President KCCI Asif Nisar, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Younus Soomro, Commercial Head of Honorary Consulate of Mauritius Muhammad Sajjad Azam and KCCI Managing Committee members were present at the meeting.
Highlighting some of the key features about setting up businesses in Mauritius, Sohail Yasin informed that the rules for setting up businesses in Mauritius were transparent and it was very easy to establish business units in this important country. “The Mauritian government plans to establish a Pharmaceutical Village and a Free Zone where Pakistani businessmen and Industrialists can get a level playing field to efficiently compete with their Indian counterparts who have capitalized the Mauritian market”, he added.
He said that Mauritius, being the land of opportunities, offers profitable business in different sectors of the economy particularly fisheries, real estate development and pharmaceutical etc.
Besides eye-catching tourism opportunities, Mauritius was also an attractive place for the film industry as the Mauritian government offers 40 percent rebate to anyone who intends to shoot a film or drama in Mauritius. This offer, he added, was heavily being availed by the Indian film and drama industry. Although some Pakistani films and dramas have been produced in Mauritius but the industry must focus on shooting more movies and dramas in Mauritius as being done by India, he advised.
“Mauritius is a fantastic place where you can not only do good business but can also explore scenic tourism sites. It’s a mixture of tourism, hospitality, and also the business gateway to Africa”, he added.
Earlier, while welcoming the Honorary Consul of Mauritius, President KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo stated that although Pakistan and Mauritius have been enjoying decades old relation but the existing trade volume was not depicting the same. Expressing deep concern over descending trade volume, he informed that during Fiscal Year 2016, Pakistan exported goods worth $28.33 million to Mauritius against exports of $36.23 million in Fiscal Year 2015, showing decline of 21.8 percent whereas goods imported by Pakistan stood at $5.19 million in FY16 as against $5.63 million in FY15, showing decline of 7.8 percent.
“This decline in trade has to be tackled through collective efforts and more interaction between the business communities of the two countries which is the only way forward”, he stressed.
Referring to the last visit of Mauritian President to Pakistan, Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim in which she particularly visited Karachi to meet a high-powered delegation from Karachi Chamber, he said that the Karachi Chamber was very grateful to the Mauritian President for inviting them to participate in Pakistan Week scheduled in August 2016 and they were very keen to be part of this event but were unable to do so due to some unforeseen situations. “However, we are very eager to visit Mauritius to look for opportunities of enhancing trade, and the first delegation’s visit from KCCI during my tenure as President KCCI will be sent to Mauritius”, he assured. Shamim Firpo said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has opened up abundant lucrative opportunities not just for the business and industrial community of Pakistan but also for the rest of the world including Mauritian businessmen and industrialists who can surely benefit either by investing or undertaking joint ventures.
“Through effective analysis and utilization of trade promotion platforms, the bilateral trade can be increased”, he said, while anticipating to see more interactions between the business communities of the two friendly countries in the days to come.