PPI Original Text (PPI-OT) – African Envoys pledge to promote Pak-Africa trade

Lahore, May 24, 2012 (PPI-OT): African Ambassadors have pledged to work for promotion of Pak-Africa trade that does not match their respective potentials.

Speaking at first-ever The Africa Show, arranged by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday, the African Ambassadors including were of the view that now is the time to maximize interaction as the developed world is not as responsive to developing nations of Asia and Africa.

The LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh welcomed the Ambassadors formally. The LCCI former LCCI Presidents Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry and Convener Pak-Africa Business Promotion Committee Zafar Mahmood also spoke on the occasion.

The African Ambassadors who visited Lahore Chamber included High Commissioner of Kenya and Dean of African Ambassadors Group Mrs Mishi Masika Mwatsahu, Ambassador of Algeria Ahmed Benflis, Ambassador of Tunisia Mourad Bourchla, Ambassador of Egypt Said Mohamed Elsaid Hindam, Ambassador of Sudan Alshafie Ahmed Mohamed el Tahir, Ambassador of Libya Abdelsalam Mahdi Ali Al-Rqxi, Acting High Commissioner of Mauritius Deepak Prabhakar Gokulsing, High Commissioner of South Africa Col Imran Haider, Ambassador of Somalia Ali Sheikh Abdullahi and High Commissioner of Nigeria Grema Garba Satom while the Ambassador of Oman Mohamed Bin Said Bin Mohamed Al-Lawati attended the Africa Show as a special guest.

The African Ambassadors also announced formation of Africa-Pakistan Friendship and Business Association comprising Ambassadors and High Commissioners of African region and three LCCI representatives for further strengthening bilateral and business relations between Africa and Pakistan.

They said that the people of Africa desire to have genuine friends throughout the world and the private sector in Pakistan should take a lead to initiate joint ventures with their African counterparts. The Ambassadors said that they had already started free trade regime with the Arab world that is an opportunity for Pakistani business community.

The Dean of African Ambassadors and Kenyan High Commissioner Mishi Masika Mwatsahu announced visa on arrival for the businessmen who would be recommended by the LCCI while Egyptian and Nigerian Ambassadors said that they would grant one year visa to LCCI Members.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI president Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that Pakistan considers Africa as one of the biggest market for developing investment and trade relations. The Pak-Afro trade analysis of the last couple of years shows a growing trend while balance of trade marginally favours Pakistan.

The LCCI President called for measures to increase the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Africa to four billion dollars.

He said that Pakistani business community is well aware of it that there are incalculable market opportunities available in Africa for Pakistani products and services. We are required to identify the concerned sectors and some efforts on the part of our own embassies in major African countries can contribute to a great extent in capturing sizeable share in African markets.

African countries can greatly benefit from Pakistan’s experience and expertise in the fields of infrastructure development, agriculture, heavy engineering, banking and information technology. Pakistan’s education sector, particularly professional institutes can provide excellent opportunities and venues to the students belonging to the African countries to learn modern sciences and arts.

Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that both the sides need to work in close liaison for exploring ways and means to move forward while further bolstering relations with each other on preferential basis.

Earlier, the Dean of African Ambassadors Mrs Mishi Masika Mwatsahu and LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh jointly inaugurated the African Catalogue Show which was also witnessed by a large number of LCCI Members.

The Governor Punjab Sardar Latif Khan Khosa also hosted a dinner in honor of Ambassadors at Governor’s House.

The Governor Punjab congratulated the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for arranging a unique show. He said that the federal government was making all out efforts to facilitate the foreign investors therefore the African embassies in Pakistan should work hand in hand for the promotion of bilateral economic relations between Pakistan and Africa.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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