Australia keen to further strengthen its economic relations with Pakistan: John Hogg

Lahore, August 31, 2012 (PPI-OT): Senator John Hogg, the President of Australian Senate, has said that Australian government values high its relations with Pakistan and keen to further strengthening its economic relations with Pakistan that is an important country of the region. Senator John Hogg, who was heading a 17-member strong Parliamentary delegation, was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday.

LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Meher, Vice President Saeeda Nazar and LCCI former Presidents also spoke on the occasion. The Australian Parliamentary delegation included Senator Sean Edwards; Nick Champion MP; Senator the Hon David Johnston; Graham Perrett MP; Ms Jill Hall MP; Ms Julia Clifford (Advisor to the President); Australian High Commissioner Peter Heyward and Federal Agent Andy Davies (Australian Federal Police).

Senator John stressed the need for close contacts between the businessmen through use of modern technology like video conferencing in order to develop deep and lasting linkages and networks for sharing each other’s experiences for strengthening of economic relations. The Senator said that they would play their role for increasing bilateral trade between the two countries. He said that Pakistani businessmen should initiate joint ventures with their Australian counterparts.

Senator John Hogg and other members of the delegation also praised the role of Pakistan in the war against militancy and said that people of Australia highly acknowledged the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in war against terrorism and extremism.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Irfan Qaiser stressed the need for an enhanced bilateral trade between the two countries. He said that Pakistan’s exports to Australia touched its peak in 2011 by reaching USD 167 million whereas in the same period the imports were USD 437 million. These figuress do not match the actual trade potential of two countries. Both the countries can take the bilateral trade to USD 1 billion with some concerted efforts at public and private levels.

Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that both the countries have some potential areas for growth like agriculture, business, mining, energy and education etc. Furthermore Australians have vast expertise in healthcare, power generation, sanitation and water purification so Pakistan can take benefit from their expertise. There is also a need for attaining better market access in exports of agro products and seafood to the Australian market.

The LCCI President said that dairy and livestock sector is growing well in Pakistan and there is still a tremendous potential of growth which can be explored through joint ventures between Pakistani and Australian businessmen. Similarly animal fattening projects are also picking up in Pakistan and the animals are being imported from Australia.

Other important sectors are fresh fruit juices and beverages which promise excellent return on investments. The LCCI President urged Senator John Hogg to motivate the Australian investors to consider these sectors for the mutual benefits of both the countries.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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