ISLAMABAD ( STAFF REPORT )
Amir Muhammad Khan, High Commissioner-designate of Pakistan to Rwanda said that Africa offered huge potential to Pakistan for exports and stressed that the private sector should focus on African region for promoting trade. He said this while exchanging views with Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry during his visit to ICCI. Fatma Azim Senior Vice President, Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI, M. Ejaz Abbasi, M. Saeed Khan, Usman Khalid, Shaukat Hayat Khan, M. Javed Iqbal, Umar Hussain, Muhammad Shakir, M. Omais Khattak, Rana Qaiser Shahzad, Raja Hassan Akhtar, Khalid Chaudhry, Ashfaq Chatha, and Naveed Malik were also present at the occasion.
Amir Muhammad Khan said that Rwanda was enjoying an important location in the African region and by developing close business cooperation with it, Pakistan could get easy access to huge African market. He stressed for developing government-to-government and business-to-business level relations between the two countries to take trade and economic relations to higher levels. He said that he remained posted in Tanzania as Ambassador of Pakistan and it also offered great opportunities to Pakistan, therefore, the business community to explore its market. He said China and India have increased their presence in the African region to tap its business potential and urged that Pakistan should make strenuous efforts to create space for it in Africa. He assured that he would cooperate with the private sector of Pakistan in exploring African market through Rwanda for the promotion of trade and exports.
Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan neglected Africa since long for business relations due to which other countries were capturing its market. However, he said that the current government was focusing on a Look Africa policy, which would help the private sector to get better penetration in African region. He said that the overall trade volume of the African region stood at US$ 1 trillion, out of which Pakistan’s share was only $3 billion mainly due to lack of connectivity. He urged that Pakistan should open more embassies and commercial sections in African countries to explore all untapped areas of exports promotion.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that Pakistan could export many products to Africa including textiles, readymade garments, pharmaceuticals, agricultural, cement, surgical goods and emphasized that the government should facilitate the private sector in promoting business linkages with African counterparts. He said that a delegation of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce & Industry had visited our Chamber and ICCI was planning to take its delegation to Tanzania and other countries to explore untapped business opportunities in African region.
Fatma Azim Senior Vice President, Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI and other members of the business community stressed that top level government dignitaries of Pakistan should visit Africa along with trade delegations that would help and help in improving Pakistan’s trade and exports with African region.