Pakistan needs to tap into the $4.92 trillion D-8 market

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Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh, President of FPCCI, has represented Pakistan in the all-influential General Assembly meeting of the D-8 Chambers of Commerce and Industry (D-8 CCI). He said Iran, Turkiye, Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Nigeria also attended the meeting.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh expressed his vision that Pakistan must tap into the export market of D-8 countries with a combined GDP of $4.92 billion, and tapping into these markets has the potential to correct Pakistan’s regional trade deficit for several reasons: (i) Pakistan has friendly ties with the D-8 members (iii) we have geographical contiguity or land-based access with some member countries (iii) land-based routes can be used for transhipment (iv) shipment to these countries takes lesser time and costs (v) with intra D-8 trade at merely 5 per cent, there are low-hanging fruits to be grabbed in a short period.

FPCCI Chief informed that the General Assembly meeting of D-8 CCI discussed in detail the roadmap and strategy for intra-alliance trade promotion, plan of activities for the next three years, arbitration system; D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement (D-8 PTA); visa-related issues; transportation costs; value chain economic fruits; regional connectivity; currency swap agreement; barter trade and D-8 Halal Exposition in Indonesia.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh noted that the D-8 bloc represents more than 5 percent of global GDP, which is a significant one for the D-8 countries in particular and the entire region in general. He explained that only if we can capture the D-8 market in value-added textiles, IT & ITeS services, sports goods, rice, fruits & vegetables, surgical equipment, pharmaceuticals and construction materials can Pakistan enhance its exports by $5 – 10 billion within 2 – 3 years vis-à-vis D-8.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh stressed that D-8 countries have a cumulative population of more than 1.1 billion, and the Preferential Trade Agreement can usher a wave of economic prosperity, investments & JVs, industrial collaborations, tourism & hospitality boost, establishment of cost-controlled trade routes and a collective voice in economic affairs in other international forums.

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