Trade Opportunities in Indonesia, Mauritius Explored

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Karachi (PR): Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has spoken about the need for making concerted efforts to develop Pakistan’s trade relations with non-traditional markets. He said this while meeting delegations from Indonesia and Mauritius visiting the FPCCI Head Office to explore trade and investment opportunities with Pakistan. Also present on the occasion were FPCCI Vice Presidents Mr. Muhammad Ali and Mir Naveed Jan Baloch.  

The delegation from Indonesia was led by Dr. Ing. Ilhamy Elias, Chairman of the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Elias informed the house that the Indonesia-Pakistan PTA was operational since September 1, 2013 and would hopefully lead to a growth in bilateral trade. He invited FPCCI to participate actively in the Indonesia Trade Expo which would be held in Jakarta in October 2013. He also proposed the establishment of a joint chamber which Mr. Zubair Malik seconded. While responding to the Indonesia side, Mr. Malik said that both countries should take maximum advantage of the D-8 platform which Pakistan was heading, while FPCCI as the national chamber had chairmanship of the D-8 Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (D-8 FCCI).  He said that Pakistan could use Indonesia’s support in seeking greater trade access to ASEAN countries, while Pakistan could act as a gateway to SAARC, ECO and Persian Gulf countries. He also asked for display space for Pakistani products in Jakarta on the pattern of space allotted by Islamabad Chamber for Indonesia products.

The Mauritian delegation was led by Mr. Muhammad Rashid, High Commissioner of Mauritius in Pakistan, who was accompanied by 14 delegates. It was pointed out that Pakistani mangoes had tremendous potential in the Mauritian market, but lack of cost effective air and sea freight was a serious impediment, due to which perishable items such as fruits could only be exported in limited quantity. Shipping companies are presently reluctant to initiate direct services, due to lack of traffic. In this respect, Mr. Ismail Zakaria, Honorary Consul General of Mauritius proposed that a fortnightly charter flight may be initiated between Port Louis and Karachi, in order to further develop the flow of goods and passengers. It was also noted that some businessmen on the Mauritius side had faced problems in customs and missing consignments which must be addressed. Mr. Zubair Malik said that Mauritius can act as Pakistan’s entry point to Africa, in view of the preferential market access it has as a member of COMESA, SADC and AU trade blocs. He also agreed to include Mauritius in the itinerary of the FPCCI trade delegation to South Africa and Mozambique in November 2013 which was greatly appreciated by Mr. Rashid.

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Mauritius: Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, President FPCCI presents the FPCCI Crest to Mr. Muhammad Rashid, High Commissioner of Mauritius in Pakistan

Indonesia: Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, President FPCCI presents the FPCCI Crest to Dr. Ing. Ilhamy Elias, Chairman of the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce. Also seen are FPCCI Vice Presidents Mr. Muhammad Ali and Mir Naveed Jan Baloch, and the Consul General of Indonesia in Karachi Mr. Rossalis Adenan.