Pakistan, UAE working on new economic roadmap

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the UAE are working on a new economic roadmap to boost bilateral trade volume and establish joint ventures between the two nations’ businesses and chambers of commerce.

This was announced by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, who met with UAE’s Ambassador to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Alzaabi last week.

“We want to establish a new economic roadmap with the UAE for enhancing bilateral trade, manufacturing through joint ventures, alliances and exchange of services. “As the next step to this meeting, we are going to the Emirates next month for a meeting with the UAE chamber of commerce and other officials. We are also going to ask UAE government through the chamber to facilitate us in business visas,” he informed.

Khan said that the main focus of the meeting was to establish ways to enhance bilateral trade, alliances and joint ventures in different sectors. “Our bilateral trade is only $14 billion which is much less than its actual potential,” Khan said in an interview with Arab News.

“Both the countries have potential in multiple things like hospitality, retail, services and manufacturing. We are working to find the missing areas so that we can fill those gaps to boost bilateral trade,” Khan said, adding that many international brands based in UAE were not present in Pakistan, so both sides could collaborate to bring them here.

“There are a lot of companies in the UAE which are operating in the manufacturing of tiles and many other products. Their distribution is going through European and Chinese. We are looking at the prospects of getting distribution of such companies to bring their products and services in Pakistan,” he further added.

He also said many big hotel chains, based in UAE, could be brought to Pakistan to boost the tourism sector.

Earlier, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, had said that there was good potential to enhance trade between Pakistan and UAE, adding that Pakistani businesses needed to be more aggressive and push hard to market their products in the UAE.

“The Emirates can be the biggest market for Pakistani halal food products, meat, poultry, rice, fruits and vegetables,” he said. “Another area which picking up in Pakistan is processed food and Gulf countries are the biggest markets for these products.”

“We have got to get into a strategic alliance with UAE so that the Emirates must look to Pakistan for their food security,” he added.