Misperception about Pakistan is incorrect and biased: Spanish Ambassador

Lahore, February 15, 2016 (PPI-OT): Pakistan is a land of opportunities and misperception about its reputation at international level is not correct. Situation here at this resourceful country is not as bad as being portrayed and a number of Spanish companies are keen interested to start their operations. Pakistan is very much on the world radar and a large number of leading business groups are looking it as an attractive business destination.
This was stated by the Spanish Ambassador Carlos Morales while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder presented the address of welcome while honorary Consul of Spain Zaheerul Islam, former LCCI President Mian Misbah-ur-Rehman, Former Senior Vice President Malik Tahir Javed, Former Vice President Saeeda Nazar, Executive Committee Members Mian Zahid Javed, Abdul Razaq, Khurram Lodhi, Mukhtar Ali, Shahzad Ahmed and Tariq Mahmood were present on the occasion.

The Ambassador said that Pakistan is a dynamic country which has a lot for the foreign investors. He said that Spain is one the largest economies and investors of the world. He said that Spain has made a huge investment billion around the globe while around 5000 Spanish companies are working in Latin America.
He said that Pakistan is a big market for EU investors, therefore, Spanish companies are diverting its attention towards Pakistan and it is high time that both the countries should take advantage of each other’s expertise in various sectors. He also urged the LCCI to bring a business delegation to Spain so the Pakistani business community could assess the situation well.

He said that there exists a great scope for cooperation in various industrial sectors between the two countries as well therefore the businessmen in the two countries could join hands for transfer of technology. He said that Energy, Textiles, Tourism, food products, agro-based products, Infrastructure and Spanish cellular technology are the potential areas where private of the two countries could join hands for Joint Ventures.

He said that Pakistan could learn a lot from Spain in tourism sector. He said that last year Spain earned $ 65 billion from 68 million tourists.

The LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder said that Pakistan and Spain have always enjoyed good diplomatic relations have also been steady trading partners. He said that Spain is one of the important countries of Europe and we really value to keep close and direct relations with it. These relations are fairly reflected in bilateral trade which is consistently following upward trend for the last few years.
He said that Pakistan has favourable balance of trade with Spain and it is encouraging to see that in 2014 the level of two trade went as high as dollar 937 million. It was mainly achieved due to regular increase in Pakistan’s exports to Spain.

The major exports of Pakistan to Spain include articles of apparel and clothing, bed linens, woven cotton fabrics, ethyl alcohol, rice and sports goods etc. Whereas medicament mixtures, ceramic tiles, zinc, cotton, olive oil, dyes and pigments, scrap of iron and steel etc. are main imports of Pakistan from Spain.
Almas Hyder said that Pakistan is a land of opportunities for foreign investors and there is a great scope of cooperation in various industrial sectors between Pakistan and Spain. He said that the possibilities of undertaking joint ventures in areas like pharmaceuticals, electrical appliances, food items, engineering goods, agro-based products, mineral and mineral-based products and power generation sectors are very bright.

He said that Spain has the technology to construct dams and has constructed dams in Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Spain is also the biggest user of renewable sources of energy. We invite Spanish businessmen to invest joint ventures with Pakistani entrepreneurs in these projects with transfer of technology.
The LCCI Senior Vice President said that Spain is famous for its well-developed tourism. He said that Pakistan has abundant historical as well as natural sights, which have a strong potential of earning foreign exchange if properly developed. We would like to have your expertise in this field and also welcome joint ventures with businessmen from your country.

He said that Seed development is an area where Spain has specialized in and Pakistan being an agricultural country can benefit from the expertise of Spain in this field.

Almas Hyder said that Pakistan is an agro-based economy but unfortunately it does not have technology to preserve excess agriculture produce and in this regard, the professional expertise of Spain agro-based industrial sector will be welcomed.

He said the significance of frequent exchange of trade delegations and mutual discussions cannot be over emphasized for creating more opportunities between business communities of the two countries.
He called for more interaction between the business communities of the two countries to increase the volume of two-way trade and said that it is necessary that the business houses like LCCI and the different Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Spain also play their due role. He said that trade fairs, single country exhibitions as well as exclusive “country weeks” can be arranged on reciprocal basis to achieve this goal.

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: +92-42-36368854
Website: www.lcci.org.pk