Trade volume not that big but potential exists: Argentinian Envoy

Karachi, February 17, 2016 (PPI-OT):Ambassador of Argentina, Mr. Rodolfo J. Martin Saravia has said that although the trade volume was not that big between Argentina and Pakistan but lots of potential for enhancing trade exists which can be raised through collective efforts from both sides.

Exchanging views during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the Ambassador added that the business communities of both countries must join hands and work together for improving trade ties by regularly participating in exhibitions, organizing trade delegations’ visits and other such trade promotional activities in both countries.

Honorary Consul General of Paraguay Kamran Tariq, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President Muhammad Naeem Sharif, Chairman of KCCI’s Special Committee for My Karachi Muhammad Idrees, Former Presidents KCCI AQ Khalil, Majyd Aziz and Khalid Firoz along with KCCI Managing Committee members were also present on the occasion.

Rodolfo Martin informed that it was his farewell visit to KCCI as after serving for a period of 12 years in Pakistan as the Ambassador of Argentina, he will be leaving this country where he had some of the most memorable time of his life. “I find myself more a Pakistani than an Argentinean after spending such an extensive period in Pakistan”, he added while assuring to continue his efforts towards bringing the two countries closer even after stepping down as the Argentinean Ambassador in Pakistan.

He said that a great change has been witnessed as the new Argentinean government has taken charge in December 2015 and Argentina has opened its doors to the world including Pakistan. Thus, the Pakistani business communities must now explore trade opportunities in numerous sectors while the Argentinean businessmen must also look for possibilities of selling their products to Pakistan, he added.

Identifying some of the potential sectors, the Argentinian Ambassador particularly mentioned agriculture and livestock sectors which can be explored and Pakistan will be able to benefit from the Argentinian know-how and expertise in these sectors. He said that the technology being used in the Argentinian agriculture and livestock sectors can also be transferred to Pakistan.

He informed that Argentina has been producing cheaper silo bags for many years and has been providing these silo bags to countries around the world which can safely preserve many dry commodities including sugar, corns, grains, wheat and rice etc. for a period of two years. The concerned Pakistani businessmen and traders can also use these silo bags for preserving dry commodities and can also benefit from Argentinean expertise in manufacturing of silo bags.

Referring to a Memorandum of Understanding signed between KCCI and its counterpart Chamber in Argentina during the tenure of Khalid Firoz as President KCCI few years ago, Rodolfo Martin underscored the need to reactivate this MoU which would strengthen ties and bring business communities of the two countries closer.

President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, in his welcome remarks, stated Pakistan and Argentina have been enjoying friendly and cordial relationship and understanding on all the major global and regional issues. The two countries have well established trade links, maintain a “Joint Economic Committee” and the Pak-Argentina Business Council in order to expedite further growth in their relationship.

President KCCI informed that during Fiscal Year 2015, Pakistan’s export to Argentina experienced a decline of 21 percent as goods of $44 million were exported as against exports of $53 million in the same period of last Fiscal Year 2014. On the other hand, country’s imports from Argentina doubled to $141 million from imports of $71 million in the preceding year.

“There is a dire need to make collective efforts for improving the meagre trade volume between the two countries. In this regard, strategies must be devised with a particular focus on bringing the business communities closer which was the only way forward and the Karachi Chamber is ready to play its role in attaining this objective”, he added.

He pointed out that there was a huge potential for enhancing bilateral trade relations between Argentina and Pakistan. The agriculture, alternative energy, pharmaceuticals and CNG buses could serve as key sectors for starting joint ventures between the two nations.

“Pakistan also has great potential for the exports of fruits and vegetables to Argentina; therefore fruit processing plants can be developed on modern lines to meet the demand. Moreover, Pakistan has huge growth potential in the traditional exports to Argentina like rice, sports goods, surgical instruments, leather, and textile products”, he added.

For more information, contact:
Aamir Hassan
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040