Demand to set up trading block of Muslim countries

Karachi: Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) President Mian Abrar Ahmad has asserted upon the need to build Muslim Trading Block to uplift the Muslim economies.

While exchanging views with the Ambassador-designate of Pakistan to Republic of Yemen Dr. Irfan Yusuf Shami he emphasized upon the multi-lateral trade between the Muslim countries.

He highlighted the existing potential of economic and commercial cooperation of Pakistan with the GCC & Middle East countries. He focused that the regional trade is the key solution to sustain peace and prosperity in the region.

He articulated that the Pakistan due to its geo-strategic location can act as trade corridor between the Middle East/GCC countries and Central Asian Republics and SAARC countries. He focused that the regional trade will uplift the economy of Pakistan to new horizons.

He was of the firm opinion that Pakistan must not rely on aid and remittances. He voiced to enhance exports and trade. He was of the view that the aids received from USA and Western World never spent to boost the economy and its trickledown effect was not passed to masses.

He lamented that Pakistan was never allowed economic independence and liberty by the developed countries which they allowed to other countries in the region. He identified the immense opportunities of exporting engineering products, arms and ammunitions, electrical and home appliances to Yemen and GCC countries.

He also recalled that a large number of students used to visit Pakistan to complete their studies who now prefer to go to other countries due to negative travel advisory.

He requested the Ambassador to invite business delegation and exhibitors to participate in the Karachi Chamber’s My-Karachi Oasis of Harmony Exhibition scheduled to be organized in July 2012. He also enlightened the Ambassador about the key role of Karachi Chamber in the socio-economic development of Pakistan.

Ambassador-designate Dr. Irfan Yusuf Shami recognized the vibrant role of Karachi Chamber to promote trade and industry. He highlighted that Pak-Yemen bilateral trade has continued to overwhelmingly be in Pakistan’s favour as against only US$ 1 million imports of petroleum, scrap, leather and hides from Yemen, Pakistan’s export to Yemen increased from nearly US$ 100 million in 2009-2010 to US$ 164 million in 2010-2011.

He articulated that Pakistan’s major export items comprise rice, wheat, poultry, machinery, construction materials, footwear, tarpaulins & tents, pharmaceuticals & medical equipment, textile products & knitwear, chemical and electrical goods. He said that Pak-Yemen trade graph was going up and during the years and high-level dignitaries of two countries had paid five visits to both sides.

He said that the interaction of the business communities of two countries is imperative to back-up and strengthen the bilateral relations. He informed that United Bank Limited had three branches operating in Yemen and fourth branch will be opened shortly, therefore, the two-way trade is being supported by banking channel of UBL. He also identified investment prospects in Yemen and sought the cooperation of President KCCI with regards to trade queries and facilitation. Ambassador informed that he was also maintaining the Ambassadorial portfolio of the Yemen’s neighbouring country Djibouti.

President KCCI assured the Ambassador to extend best possible support and facilitation to the interested businessmen in the Pak-Yemen bilateral trade. He also presented Chamber’s crest to the Ambassador. Former President KCCI Majyd Aziz, Vice President Zia Ahmed Khan, CEO of Kabir Poly-Textile Ashraf Ali Muhammad and the Managing Committee Members of KCCI also participated in the meeting.

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