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FAISALABAD: Bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Kenya must be increased to fully tap their potential, said Mary Nyambura Kamau, High Commissioner of Kenya, addressing the business community in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) here Monday.

She termed Faisalabad as the land of opportunities. She said that Kenya and Pakistan enjoy cordial bilateral relations, largely dominated by trade and investment.

She underlined the importance of the chambers in linking business communities which could play a key role in cementing our bilateral trade ties.

She appreciated the steps taken by FCCI to enhance its economic importance and said that the Kenyan High Commission would extend full support to link FCCI members with the potential and reliable importers and exporters of Kenya.

She said that Faisalabad has great importance for Kenya because of its significance to the economy of Pakistan. “About 35% of Pakistan’s GDP comes from Faisalabad,” she said and added that its share was around 60-80% of the total export revenue of Pakistan. She said that FCCI is the gateway to the opportunities that lie in the textile and apparel manufacturing sectors.

“We have taken many initiatives to enhance trade, investment and economic cooperation in the light of the strong relationship between the two countries,” she said and added that it was still far from reaching its optimum potential.

She said that the mission is committed to move forward in the direction of achieving the full potential of trade and investment through, working together with relevant stakeholders both from the government and private sectors.

She suggested that dynamic mechanisms may be evolved to address the barriers to trade and investment in addition to organising joint business networking meetings.

Responding to a question, she said that the law & order situation is quite satisfactory in Kenya and Pakistani investors could sneak into other adjoining countries through Kenya.

The commercial attaché of Kenya also gave a presentation on the promotion of trade, industry and investment. He termed Kenya as hub of financial and transport which could play a major role in enhancing bilateral trade between Pakistan and other African Countries. He said that the two countries are negotiating on a PTA and urged the FCCI to contribute its productive role in finalizing this agreement.

Earlier President FCCI Dr Khurram Tariq welcomed the guests and said that Faisalabad was established in 1898 to control this area by developing it as a Mandi town. “This city was designed on the pattern of Union Jack,” he said and added that now this city has become the third largest industrial, commercial and business hub of the country. He said that being in close vicinity of a cotton rich area, the textile sector flourished here and now it is being recognised at the global level as the textile capital of Pakistan.

About FCCI, he said that it is the third biggest chamber of the country which has 8300 members belonging to 118 sectors and sub sectors of the economy. He said that we are involved in business advocacy and policy formulation to protect the legitimate interests of the business community. He said that a largest industrial estate of the country is being developed in Faisalabad which provides ample opportunities to the foreign as well as local investors.

Mian Muhammad Latif, Azhar Chaudhary, Mian Tayyab and other members participated in the question answer session while Senior Vice President Dr Sajjad Arshad offered vote of thanks.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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