UAE, Pakistan to enhance bilateral trade, investment ties

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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The Pakistan Business Council in Dubai has organized the second trade session with the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, to discuss new business opportunities, boosting bilateral trade volume between the two countries, and capitalizing on Expo 2020 opportunity.

The minister was accompanied by Mr. Afzaal Mahmood, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UAE, as well as several Pakistani businessmen and businesswomen based in the Emirate.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi said that “we are prepared to provide full assistance to the Pakistani businesses in enabling more Pakistani entrepreneurs and businessmen to explore the opportunities available in the UAE market.”

He added that the UAE and Pakistan share deep bilateral relations based on a long history, trust, and respect, and trade that showed growth even during the tough times that were seen throughout the world.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi noted that “for us, Pakistan is among the top 25 important strategic global trade partners. In terms of imports, the UAE is Pakistan’s second-biggest partner. Both countries also have significant investments in various sectors in each other’s economies such as real estate. The Emirate recently announced the 100 percent foreign ownership law, which has spurred economic activity and been hailed by the business community around the world.”

The minister and the Pakistan Business Council conducted their first meeting in the maiden week of May 2021, in which they discussed various business opportunities and ways to strengthen trade between the two countries. The meeting was successfully ended with a resolution to boost trade volume between UAE and Pakistan from roughly $8.19 billion-2019 to double it over the next five years.

Highlighting Expo 2020 mega opportunity for businesses, Mr. Mahmood remarked that “our two economies complement each other, so we need to understand where the value-added advantage lies and how we can support each other. We work with that spirit with the UAE. The Pakistan government has announced several initiatives that will attract the foreign business community to explore several sectors in Pakistan such as tourism, agriculture, fashion, and hospitality.”

“Pakistan will be participating at the Expo 2020 Dubai with its pavilion under the theme ‘Pakistan: The Hidden Treasure’ and we encourage everyone to come and visit. You will see everything about Pakistan’s history, culture, agriculture, tourism, and hospitality. We invite more and more Pakistan businesses to come forward and sign up for the expo,” he added.

According to Ahmed Shaikhani, President of the Pakistan Business Council in Dubai, both countries have several opportunities to collaborate and strengthen current relationships. Both nations are already talking about working in areas such as agritech, healthcare and wellness, manufacturing, logistics, information technology, and food security, as “Pakistan has a wealth of expertise in the agriculture sector which we can share with our UAE partners.”

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