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Pakistan needs to work with Indonesia to formulate a free trade agreement.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh, President of FPCCI, has stressed that Pakistan needs to work with Indonesia to formulate a free trade agreement (FTA) to rectify a bilateral trade deficit of up to $3 billion each year consecutively for the past many years. He added that we should work on branding Pakistan through single-country exhibitions, exchange of trade delegations, cultural & student exchanges, and projecting a soft image of Pakistan in the Southeast Asia region.

Mr Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, SVP FPCCI, maintained that ASEAN countries could be a huge export market for Pakistan, as it has a population of over 600 million and a very strong middle class. He added that Their collective GDP in purchasing power parity (PPP) has well surpassed $10 trillion.

Mr. Aman Paracha, VP of FPCCI, stressed the importance of diversifying imports from Indonesia beyond palm oil and exploring opportunities for Pakistani exports in diverse sectors. He announced FPCCI’s plans to organize a single-country exhibition in Indonesia to promote trade and address the imbalance.

Mr. Asif Sakhi, VP FPCCI, explained that Pakistan needs to think creatively to work with the friendly country of Indonesia in technology transfer, investments, and joint ventures, as both countries are strong in textile production. He added that we can emerge as strong complementary economies through interdependence.

Mr. Hanif Gohar, Former SVP and convener of FPCCI’s Central Standing Committee on Diplomatic Affairs, highlighted the trade statistics, which currently show only $400 million in exports from Pakistan and $3.5 billion in imports from Indonesia—largely due to the heavy import of palm oil from Indonesia.

It is pertinent to note that H.E. Dr June Kuncoro Hadiningrat, Consul General of Indonesia in Karachi, emphasized the need to strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Indonesia during a meeting with the FPCCI Central Standing Committee on Diplomatic Affairs.

H.E. Dr June Kuncoro Hadiningrat highlighted the potential for expansion in the bilateral trade basket of exportable and importable items between the two countries—currently limited to very few products. He invited Pakistani businesses to attend Expo Indonesia in October 2024, a platform to expand interactions and explore trade opportunities.

Top businessmen, such as Mian Zahid Hussain, Chairman of PAB-FPCCI; Mr. Khalid Tawab, former SVP FPCCI; Mr. Shabbir Mansha, former VP FPCCI; and Mr. Abid Nisar, Chairman of Pakistan—Indonesia Business Council, were also present on the occasion.

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