Australia ready to help Pakistan tackle challenges: Australian High Commissioner

Lahore: Australian High Commissioner Tim George has said Australia has a long-term commitment with Pakistan and was ready to play a proactive role so that Pakistan could be able to overcome the challenges being faced by it.

He, however, made it clear that both Pakistan and Australia need to work more closely in agriculture, energy, education, engineering and social sector.

Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Thursday he said power generation, agriculture, livestock, sports goods, information technology, health and education were the key sectors wherein Pakistani businessmen could take advantage of Australian technological advancements to play their role for economic turnaround of the country. He said Pakistan could avail Australian expertise in vocational training, as Australian Vocational Training Modules are best of the best in the world.

He called for frequent exchange of business-related delegations so that both the sides could have first-hand knowledge of the available opportunities. He said Pakistani goods were best of the best in the world and has a very huge potential in Australian market. He said power generation, agriculture, livestock, sports goods, information technology, health and education were the key sectors wherein Pakistani businessmen could take advantage of Australian technological advancements to play their role for economic turnaround of the country.

He said Pakistan could avail Australian expertise in vocational training as Australian Vocational Training Modules are best of the best in the world. He called for frequent exchange of business-related delegations so that both the sides could have first-hand knowledge of the available opportunities. He said Pakistani goods were best of the best in the world and has a very huge potential in Australian market.

The total bilateral trade in 2007 was $552.6 million, which went up to $625.4 million in 2008 and following the increasing trend it reached $653 million in 2009. It has been encouraging to observe upward tendency in total trade but our main concern is inconsistent level of exports from Pakistan.

Pakistan exports were worth $125 million in 2007, which showed improvement in 2008 by touching $141 million mark, but very next year it went way down to $118.3 million. LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik said with extensive natural resources, including oil and natural gas reserves, the fourth-largest coal reserves in the world and potential for hydropower, Pakistan offers marvelous opportunities to Australian businessmen. There are prospects for growth in trade and investment particularly in the field of agribusiness, education, mining for oil and gas exploration, IT and communications and development of processed foods etc.

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