Sudan ambassador invites Pak businessmen

LAHORE: Sudan Ambassador to Pakistan Alshafie Ahmad Mohamed on Monday invited Pakistani businessmen to make investment or ink Joint Ventures with their Sudanese counterparts as the country has unparalleled and huge opportunities in Rice, Cement, Pharmaceutical, Textile products, food products, poultry and steel sectors.

He was speaking at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Meher, Vice President Saeeda Nazar, former President Mian Muzaffar Ali, Executive Committee members Husnain Reza Mirza, Khamis Saeed Butt, Rehman Chan and former Executive Committee Member Rehmatullah Javed earlier gave their point of view on as to how the bilateral ties between the countries could further be strengthened. Deputy Head of Sudanese Mission Mohammed Eldei Ali also spoke on the occasion.

The ambassador said that this is the high time that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry should arrange a sector specific delegation to take part in Khartoum International Fair as preparation for this fair are in full swing. He said that the LCCI should also sign an MoU with the Sudan Chamber of Commerce or with Khartoum Chamber to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two sides.

The Ambassador informed the participants that a number of other countries had already invested heavily in oil sector in Sudan and Pakistan could also make investment for the joint benefit of the two countries.

He also called for early sector-specific measures to expedite exchange of trade related information, as non-availability of information is the biggest impediment in the way of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Sudan. He also urged Pakistani businessmen to visit Sudan for having firsthand knowledge of available business opportunities there. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Meher informed the Ambassador that the LCCI has finalised a delegation to Sudan for the first week of coming March. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce would also arrange a half-day seminar in Sudan to give an update to Sudanese businessmen about business opportunities in Pakistan. He urged the Ambassador to arrange a catalogue show of Sudanese companies at Lahore Chamber and vice versa as it would also help increase the volume of two-way trade.

The LCCI Senior Vice President said that to identify the ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries, there is a need to observe the commodity wise trade trends that would ultimately help evolve a strategy to further strengthen bilateral relations.

Pakistan’s exports to Sudan consist of salt, sulphur, lime and cement, articles of iron and steel, pharmaceutical products, textile articles, man-made fibre and cotton etc. On the other hand, leather, raw hides and skins, cotton, iron and steel, miscellaneous manufactured articles etc are mainly imported from Sudan.

To enhance trade, he said, both the countries should also concentrate on new items of trade besides the existing ones. Pakistan being an agricultural economy can supply both semi-processed and processed foods to Sudan. Auto sector is another area, where Pakistan can cater to the needs of Sudanese businessmen. Similarly petrochemical and edible oil can be the sectors, where Pakistan can benefit from the Sudanese product lines.

The LCCI Senior Vice President said that a large number of Sudanese students were getting higher education in Pakistani institutions and this proves the level of cooperation between the two countries.

Speaking on the Occasion, the LCCI Vice President Saeeda Nazar called for more interaction between the businesswomen of the two countries. She said that Fashion accessories, garments and footwear sectors have a bright future in Sudan “To lay the ground for economic cooperation led by private sector, the exchange of information and ideas are necessary.” To supplement exchange of information and business delegations, trade fairs, country or sector specific weeks can be organised at major cities of Pakistan and Sudan to create mutual awareness, he added.

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