ISLAMABAD, JUN 20 (DNA) – Chairman FPCCI, Capital Office Islamabad on Sunday hoped that Pakistani investors and exporters would acquire huge opportunities for economic activity in Niger and also connect to all African regional economies.

“Pakistani investors can work in infrastructure, agriculture, including textiles, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other industries” Chairman Federation Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and industry Qurban Ali said this while business delegation of Republic of Niger, led by Minister for Commerce and Industry Gabo Sabo Moctar, visited the capital office of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

While Ex. President FPCCI Senator Haji Ghulam Ali and Coordinator FPCCI Capital office, Mirza Abdur Rehman along with senior business leadership participated in the negotiation.

 The other members of Niger delegation included Minister for Investment Zakaria Wergo, Secretary Industry Abdoulaye Boubacar, prominent businessman Saleem Gado Sabo and Pakistan’s ambassador to Niger Ahmed Ali Sirohey also participated in Business to Business negotiation. Visiting delegations signed agreements with Pakistani companies to promote bilateral trade, and business-to-business meetings were also held.

While Chairman FPCCI Capital Office, Qurban Ali that exploration of new markets and regional trade integration are the key elements for economic and trade expansion to materialize the industrial policy. Whereas exploration of the untapped markets likes Africa region and additional potential market of European Union (EU), North American

countries besides Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are the major potential for increasing the connectivity and trade integration with regional and world economy, he said. The senior business said that Pakistan and Niger have huge economic and trade relations and in future there is need to explore more areas to increase the trade volume between both sides. He said that current trade volume between both of the countries is not according to potential, which needs to be increased in future by searching new trade avenues.

Qurban Ali said that Pakistan and African countries are initiating the new beginning through the “Look Africa Campaign”, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan with African Countries increased by seven percent in 2019-20.

He said exports to Niger will increase to US$ 48.045 million in 2019-20 and Kenya will increase from US $ 265.1 million in 2018-19 to US $ 289.3 million in 2019-20, recording an increase of nine percent.  He said a few months ago in November 2020 , a four-member business delegation from Tanzania visited FPCCI during their visit to Pakistan.

While in negotiation, Minister for Commerce and trade of Niger, Gabo Sabo Moctar said there was scope of increasing bilateral trade. “Pakistan’s basmati rice is excellent. Niger has a new market for Pakistani exporters. Trade with Pakistan is our priority in pharmaceuticals,  agriculture inputs and other sectors”, he said. He said that there was scope for increasing bilateral trade in various sectors.  He said the Niger government is planning to establish a Special Economic Zones (SEZ) for Pakistan as it looks to attract investment and the infrastructural sector in Africa.

Muctar said the prime focus is to set up a joint working group for exchange of experience at both policy and operational levels for setting up SEZs, so that both countries could establish long-term trade relations.

While in his remarks Coordinator FPCCI Capital office, Mirza Abdur Rehman said the current Pakistani had launched the ‘Look Africa Initiative’ which envisaged various measures to enhance trade with Africa and increase outreach to major African economies.

“We will tap the huge potential of Niger’s market through bilateral trade cooperation in fields of textile, auto industry, mining, and agriculture” he said. He underlined the importance of enhancing economic outreach through a formal structure accompanied by regular high-level contacts, government-to-government, and business-to-business interactions.

While veteran business leader and Ex President FPCCI, Haji Ghulam Ali highlighted the different aspects to relations with African countries and said that African is a potential region for future trade. He said that local businessmen and trade are willing to search the new markets for trade and investment.=DNA