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FAISALABAD: Close liaison between the private sectors of Pakistan and Spain is imperative to give a quantum jump to bilateral trade, said Miss Elena Gomez Aoiz, Deputy Head of the Mission/Counsellor of Spain.

She was addressing a meeting at Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (North Zone) here on Saturday. She said that lack of awareness about the demand of Pakistani textile products in Spain is the main hurdle in enhancing exports and in this connection, we must promote direct linkages between the stakeholders of the two countries.

She assured that the Spanish embassy in Pakistan would remain in touch with PHMA to achieve this objective. She also requested that Pakistani textile exporters should identify the bottlenecks in the export process so that we could resolve these issues through mutual dialogue.

She said that Spain is contemplating to establish hi-tech units in the industrial zones of Faisalabad so that Pakistan could fully exploit the benefits of GSP Plus Status. She said that under this agreement, Pakistan has been given duty-free access to the Spanish market on 16 products in addition to the textile. “This facility will continue for another ten years”, she added.

Earlier in his address of welcome Mian Kashif Zia, Chairman PHMA (North Zone) said that Pakistan and Spain have been enjoying excellent diplomatic relations since 1951, however we must translate friendly ties into economic terms.

He said that the current volume of bilateral trade is quite negligible. “Spain is importing knitwear products worth US 7,533 million dollars while the share of Pakistan in it is only $234 million”, he said and added that we must try our optimum best to further enhance it to the reasonable level.

He said that currently a number of Pakistan manufacturers are supplying their products as vendors to the major brands of Spain and we must explore new avenues to collaborate for the benefit of the two countries.

Ines Mena Gomez De Merodio, Head of Consular Section said that the ultimate objective of their visit is to promote trade and cultural harmony between the two countries.

Aitor Santiago Garin, Commercial Attache said that Pakistan must project their quality products in Spain as these products are much cheaper as compared to the similar products of other countries.

Kavin Constant, Vice President Operations said that Pakistani textile exporters could avail cargo and aviation facilities offered by his company. Syed Nahid Abbas, Executive Member PHMA said that Spanish importers and designers are reluctant to visit Pakistan due to security concerns despite the fact that Pakistan is a friendly and safe country particularly for the foreigners.

He said that the Spanish embassy must advise its importers and dispel their unfounded concerns about security. The meeting was also addressed by Shaheen Tabbsum, Shahid Ahmad Sheikh, Hafiz Rashid Mahmood, Rana Aslam and Rana Muhmmad Zubair. Mian Faheem Zia offered a vote of thanks in Spanish. Later shields were also presented to the foreign guests.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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