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ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) held 2nd Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference (PATDC) in Lagos, Nigeria.

An official statement issued by the Commerce Ministry, claims it has taken various initiatives under Look Africa Policy to enhance trade relations with African states. Second PATDC has been organized in Lagos, Nigeria aiming to further enhance Pakistan’s commercial ties with member states of Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS).

ECOWAS is a 15-member regional group with a mandate for promoting economic integration. Member countries of ECOWAS are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

Nigeria being the largest economy in the ECOWAS is extremely important to enhance our commercial and institutional linkages with ECOWAS member states and was accordingly selected for holding of second of series of PATDC.

The conference was attended by prominent Pakistani businessmen representing various sectors including pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, chemical, tractors/agriculture machinery, cosmetics, IT services, sports goods, food electronics and engineering goods. Business and official delegates from the ECOWAS member states also attended the conference and single country exhibition.

Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce led 232-member business delegation along with senior officials from Ministry of Commerce, TDAP, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). During the three-day event various B2B, G2G and B2G meetings will take place on the sidelines of the conference & single country exhibition.

The conference was also attended by various representatives of Nigerian government including Governor Lagos State, Federal Minister for Industry, Trade & Investment Minister of Information and Culture Minister of Special Duties & Intergovernmental Affairs and senior officials from Standards Organization Nigeria, National Agency for Food & Drug Administration, Nigerian Investment Commission and other officials.

President Nigerian Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture also attended the conference.

Abdul Razak Dawood, while addressing the conference stressed that given the concrete opportunities that exist between the two sides, Pakistan-Africa trade could easily be increased manifold in coming years. He added that despite challenges, there would be a steady, gradual but persistent growth in Pakistan-Africa trade with enhanced level of engagement by both sides, public officials as well as private sector.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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