LAHORE: South Africa is keen to build economic partnership with Pakistan and for the purpose it is making all out efforts for increasing interaction between business communities in two countries.
South-South cooperation is corner stone of foreign policy of South Africa, this was said by the Acting High Commissioner of South Africa in Pakistan Mr Cassim Peer while talking to LCCI Acting President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday.
LCCI Executive Committee members Dr Shahid Raza, Marghoob Shakir Izhar, Mian Zahid Javaid, Ch Wajid Ali and Sheikh Mohammad Ayub also spoke on the occasion.
The Acting High Commissioner stressed the need for joint efforts so that the trade and economic relations between the two sides could be built on sustainable basis.
He said that Pakistan had a tremendous potential for South African businessmen but they could not make any inroads because of unavailability of proper trade related information.
He said that both Pakistan and South Africa could increase economic cooperation in mining, steel, auto, chemical and plastics, engineering and Technology.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI Acting President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad said that there was a great potential for expansion of trade between the two countries.
The LCCI Acting President said that there also exists a great scope for joint ventures between the two countries. Pakistani industrialists can set up textile units in South Africa to cater to the African market, he added.
There are ample opportunities of investment for Pakistani businessmen to invest in information technology, mining, agriculture and other sectors also when Chinese and Indian companies are capturing South African market, he said.
Although the balance of trade is continuously growing more and more in favour of South Africa but we are much delighted that over the period of time the trade is developing at a significant rate. If both the countries succeed in taking some strong initiatives then it is not difficult to take it to US$ 1 billion mark in a couple of years.
Sheikh Mohammad Arshad urged the African Acting High Commissioner to consider joint ventures in Pakistan in the engineering sector, which can prove highly lucrative for them. He also called for creating a strong linkage between the Chambers of the two countries for this purpose and for exchange of trade related information.
South Africa can boost its exports to Pakistan of items like chemicals, gold, diamonds, platinum, metals and minerals, machinery and raw material of steel products to Pakistan, he added.
Similarly, increasing export of traditional products, like surgical equipment, rice, sports goods to South Africa. Pakistan can supply engineering goods, sanitary goods, machine tools, auto-parts etc to South Africa, he said adding South Africa was the main shopping centre of seven neighbouring countries, even textile products’ export to South Africa can increase because of greater demand in South African market.