Korea is an important trading partner of Pakistan and there exists a lot of scope to expand bilateral economic relations: Ijaz A. Mumtaz

Lahore, February 11, 2015 (PPI-OT): Knowledge sharing in Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) is a key to economic turnaround therefore Pakistan and Korea should join hands in this particular sector. The consensus was created during a meeting between the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz and two-member Korean delegation led by Jong-Woon Kim from Hannam University, Korea here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Senior Analyst Doh Yoosuk were also present on the occasion.

Head of Korean delegation said that they were deeply analyzing the SME Policy in Pakistan and wants to collaborate with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that there is no second opinion that SMEs provide low cost employment opportunities and help the economies in several ways as they boost exports, reduce poverty, create jobs and enhance rural development etc.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz informed the Korean delegation that there are more than 3.8 million small and medium enterprises in Pakistan. This sector covers 77 percent of total industrial employment. SME sector contributes 40% in the annual GDP of Pakistan. It also accounts for the employment of more than 21 million people.

He said that due to severe energy crisis, SMEs in Pakistan are not keeping pace with the critical minimum requirements which are needed to keep them viable and surviving. LCCI President said that Korean expertise in SME sector and knowledge sharing could play a major role in transforming the SME sector of Pakistan.

He also stressed the need to enhance interaction between the private sector of Pakistan and Korea as both countries have the potential to cooperate in many areas. Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that a well-thought sector-specific strategy could identify the challenges coming in the way of trade between the two countries.

He said that Korea is an important trading partner of Pakistan and there exists a lot of scope to expand bilateral economic relations. LCCI President said that considering the size of Korean economy, there is still a lot of room to expand the trade and investment relations between the two countries.

He said that with the consultation and involvement of commercial sections of both the embassies, more items for trade could be identified. For that purpose, he said, market surveys and latest trends prevailing in both the countries must be shared with the representatives of private sectors.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that with joint efforts of public and private sector organizations of Pakistan and Korea, the volume of total trade could be doubled easily. He said that both countries have decades old economic relations and experienced good outcomes of joint ventures in various fields like telecommunications, electronics, chemical industry, automobiles industry and construction.

He said that Korean companies are also actively participating in infrastructure projects like highway construction and power generation etc. While calling for increase in Korean investment in Pakistan, the LCCI President said Pakistan is a big market, its strategic location as principal gateway to the Central Asian States and other regional countries offer lot of opportunities for relocation of Korean Industries in Pakistan.

He said that Korean investors can be provided best assistance with regard to assessing Pakistan as a profitable country with a relatively higher degree of return on investment. He said that Pakistan is located between two economic giants – China and India.

The trickle down effect of economic development taking place in the region will certainly promise good fortunes to foreign investors. Pakistan’s major exports to Korea are beverages and vinegar, cotton, raw hides and skins, copper, fish, salt, sulphur, oil seeds, fruits and sports goods etc.

Pakistan’s imports from Korea include ships and other floating structures, machinery, iron and steel, articles of plastic, electrical equipment, mineral fuels, organic chemicals, tanning and dyeing extracts, pharmaceutical products and a host of other items.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-6368854

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