Malaysia keen for greater trade with Pakistan: HC

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ISLAMABAD, FEB 19 (DNA) – Ikram Bin Muhammad Ibrahim, Malaysian High Commissioner has said Malaysia is keen to have greater bilateral trade with Pakistan as both countries have good potential to trade of many items.He said that Malaysia and Pakistan have been doing business for over half a century, but lack of exchange of private sectors has held them back from realizing actual trade potential. He was addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Malaysian High Commissioner said that instead of exporting finished goods, Pakistan should focus on producing high quality components for global brands.

He said it was important for Pakistan to focus on those products that have greater demand in global market to improve its exports.

For This purpose, Pakistani companies should improve branding of their products. He said visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and announcement of over $20 billion investment in Pakistan was highly positive development for Pakistan’s economy.

He said interest of UAE, Qatar and other countries in Pakistan was also good sign for foreign investors. He said that forthcoming visit of Dr. Mahatir Mohammad, Prime Minister of Malaysia to Pakistan on its national day carried good prospects for Pakistan, especially in automobile sector.

He said that private sectors of both countries should accelerate efforts to take full advantage of Pak-Malaysia FTA signed in 2008.

He said Malaysia was one of the larger investors in Pakistan and was more interested in Pakistan’s services sector including telecommunication, insurance and tourism.

He said agriculture, education and other sectors were other potential areas of mutual cooperation between two countries.

He said for attracting more FDI, Pakistan should focus on bringing its informal economy into formal sector that would give more confidence to foreign investors.

He said food processing products of Pakistan have good potential in Malaysia. He assured that Malaysian investors would be encouraged to explore Pakistan for JV and investment.

Speaking at the occasion, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pak-Malaysia bilateral trade was not encouraging and stressed that both countries should facilitate private sectors in promoting two-way trade.

He said that many Pakistani products including rice, wheat, mangoes, halal food, seafood, meat products, cutlery and sports goods, spices, handicrafts, light engineering goods, hospital and surgical equipment, pharmaceuticals and gems and jewelry could find good market in Malaysia and it should import these products from Pakistan that would also improve Pakistan’s trade balance with it.

He said Malaysia has levied export duty on Crude Palm Oil (CPO) at certain level of prices (at above RM 2,250), which should be revised.

He said Malaysia has also imposed 5 to 7% duties on import of mango and mandarin from Pakistan, which needed to be reviewed to benefit Pakistani exporters.

Rafat Farid, Senior Vice President, Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President ICCI said that ICCI wanted to take a delegation to Malaysia and hoped that Malaysian HC would provide all possible support to make its visit successful.

They stressed that Malaysian investors should be encouraged to explore CPEC and other sectors of Pakistan’s economy for JVs and investment. Khalid Malik Chairman ICCI Diplomatic Committee, Mian Arif and others also spoke at the occasion.=DNA

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