Islamabad – Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Alzaabi, Ambassador of UAE to Pakistan said that Pakistan and UAE have great potential to further improve bilateral trade and his country wanted to work on a new economic roadmap with Pakistan to take bilateral trade and economic relations to higher levels. 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 and Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI were also present at the occasion.
The UAE Ambassador said that he visited Faisalabad and Sialkot and saw that Pakistan has great potential to export many products to UAE. He urged that Pakistani manufacturers should do proper marketing of their exportable products to boost exports up to their actual potential. He said that Pakistan helped UAE in food security during Covid-19 pandemic. He said that Pakistani meat products were going to Jordan and other countries from UAE, which showed that Pakistan could make a significant increase in its exports by getting better penetration in the UAE market. He said that UAE-India bilateral trade was around $75 billion, but UAE-Pakistan bilateral trade was around $14 billion, which was quite less than the actual potential of both countries and more efforts were needed to enhance it. He said that Pakistan should improve its legal framework and formulate more business friendly policies to attract more FDI from UAE. He said that Pakistan Business Council UAE should play a more proactive role in improving bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries. He said that over 7000 Pakistani companies were registered in UAE and he was ready to play a role to address the challenges being faced by them in his country. He said that ICCI should form a delegation for UAE and he would cooperate in connecting them with right counterparts in his country.
Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the UAE has always stood with Pakistan and provided crucial support to it in times of need that was appreciable. He said that Pakistan and UAE enjoyed close friendly relations that should be transformed into growing trade and economic relations. He said that production cost in Pakistan was quite low, therefore, UAE investors should explore more JVs and investment in Pakistan that would help in promoting exports to Middle East, Europe and other countries. He said that despite great potential for trade cooperation, the communication gap was holding back the entrepreneurs of both countries from realizing their actual trade potential. He emphasized that Pakistan and UAE should facilitate direct connectivity between their private sectors that would help in exploring new avenues of trade cooperation. He also discussed with the UAE Ambassador the issue of visa restrictions on Pakistanis and proposed that UAE should finalize separate visa criteria for Pakistani businessmen to facilitate them in visiting UAE so that business and economic relations could further flourish between the two countries. He assured that he would try to take a business delegation representing across Pakistan to UAE to promote business linkages between the two countries.
Fatma Azim Senior Vice President and Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI said that many Pakistani products including mangoes, dry fruits, leather products, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments and others could find good market in UAE and UAE should focus on importing these products from Pakistan that were very competitive in terms of price and quality. Both sides discussed many other options for further strengthening trade and economic relations between Pakistan and UAE.