trillions of dollars have great scope for potential foreign investors: Mian Tariq Misbah

Lahore, September 17, 2014 (PPI-OT): Pakistan has become a land of opportunities as its various economic sectors, particularly energy sector and huge untapped mineral resources worth trillions of dollars have great scope for potential foreign investors.

These views were expressed by the LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah while talking to the Senior Analyst of Canadian High Commission Jawad Qureshi at the LCCI here on Wednesday. Former Vice President Aftab Ahmed Vohra, Executive Committee Members Muhammad Haroon, Raja Hamid Riaz, Chairman of Standing Committee on SAARC Business Promotion Rehmatullah Javed and Co-Chairman of Standing Committee on Pak India Business Promotion Shaheen Anjum were also present on the occasion.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that that the agriculture sector also offers a huge potential particularly any investment made in livestock and dairy sectors is bound to make big profits.

He said that economic indicators were fast turning positive, law and order situation is also becoming satisfactory while investment climate is picking up with every passing day. The availability of cheaper skilled and unskilled labour, low priced land as compared to other regional countries and an infrastructure of international standards would definitely create a win-win scenario for global investors.

Talking about trade with India, LCCI Senior Vice President said that South Asia as a region has even more to gain from improved trade ties between Pakistan and India. He said that both countries have a critical role to play in promoting free trade in the region. A lot has to be done in this regard. The region needs substantial investment in trade-related infrastructure for easing the movement of people and goods. He said that Pakistan and India are well-placed to cooperate in trade facilitation. This is because Pakistan-India trade paradigm is shifting after more than a decade and half of stagnation.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that Pakistan and India together form the most populous and contiguous consumer market of world. He said that over 1.4 billion people or around 86 percent of South Asian population lives in these two countries. Two economies represent almost 95 percent of the South Asian GDP.

He said that India and Pakistan should promote regional trade on the pattern of ASEAN, EU, NAFTA, etc. to boost bilateral trade. He said that the promotion of trade is the only way to minimize the political tension in the region. He said that NTBs (non-tariff barriers) being imposed by the Indian government are coming in the way of smooth flow of Pakistan’s export into India.

He stressed the need for promoting border trade particularly through land routes which is in favour of both the countries. He said that the potential gains from increased economic integration between India and Pakistan are large whereas mutual trade between the two countries is unnaturally small.

Pakistan’s major exports to India include vegetables, fruits and nuts, sugar confectionery, mineral fuels, salt etc., but these exports form a very insignificant proportion of India’s imports of these commodities. A big chunk of these commodities is imported by India from countries other than Pakistan. If trade between Pakistan and India is liberalized the exports of these commodities to India can take a quantum jump.

Similarly, there is a great potential for export of fish, resins, animal and vegetable fats, beverages, spirits, vinegar, leather and leather goods, carpets, pharmaceutical products and tobacco. Similarly, Pakistan can import cotton seed, meat, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, tea, cereals, organic chemicals, pharmaceutical products, tanning, dyeing extracts, chemical products, plastics, rubber and rubber products, iron and steel, machinery, vehicles, raw materials and semi finished products etc.

Mian Tariq Misbah Informal trade, via third countries (such as the United Arab Emirates, specifically Dubai), is estimated at some $2 billion to $3 billion per year, and this trade could obviously be undertaken bilaterally at significantly lower cost.

He said that, the business community is committed to have a serious, sustainable and constructive engagement with India and early and full normalization of relations on the basis of mutual non-interference, peaceful co-existence and respect for each other.

He also informed Jawad Qureshi that Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has established first-ever and first of its kind Mediation Center at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry backed and supported by IFC (World Bank Group) is all set for out-of court settlement of business disputes through mediation.

He said that the Mediation Centre is aimed at helping the private sector companies to resolve disputes quickly since in commercial court cases are often expensive and take a long time.

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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