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FAISALABAD: Pakistan’s share in the $100 billion import market of South Africa is quite negligible and the private sector of Pakistan must aggressively penetrate in it under “Look Africa” policy, said Mthuthuzeli Madikiza, High Commissioner of South Africa.

Addressing the business community in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI), he said that being an import economy, it offers Pakistan a wide range of products to this market.

He said that South Africa is a mineral rich country and Pakistani investors could also avail from this opportunity. He said that Pakistan could export mangoes in lieu of avocado under a barter system but direct contacts between the business communities of two countries are prerequisite.

Responding to a question about law and order situation, he said that security issues are similar all over the world. He said that South Africa is more suitable for import and export with other landlocked African countries as it has a well-equipped sea port.

About tourism, he said that the scenic valleys of northern areas of Pakistan are more beautiful than Switzerland but Pakistan should make these areas easily accessible for the tourists. He also stressed the need to exploit the untapped opportunities in both countries.

Earlier President FCCI Dr Khurram Tariq welcomed the high commissioner and said that Faisalabad was established in 1898 as a “Mandi” town by British rulers. “This city was designed on the pattern of Union Jack”, he said and added that now it has progressed and became the third largest city of the country which is also second in revenue generation and job creation. He said that FCCI has 8,500 members who represent more than 100 sectors and sub sectors.

He said that Faisalabad is playing a key role in textile exports but we could not make exports to South Africa due to high tariffs. He requested the high commissioner to review it to pave way for the textile exports to the South African market.

He said that approximately one lac Pakistanis are settled in South Africa while a local firm is also providing consultancy services in your country. Dr Khurram Tariq stressed the need to sign an FTA to enhance bilateral trade and arrange a single country exhibition to showcase exportable surplus.

Muhammad Azhar Chaudhary, Rana Faysal and Mian Tayyab participated in the question answer session while President Dr Khurram Tariq presented FCCI shield to Mthuthuzeli Madikiza, High Commissioner of South Africa. Senior Vice President Dr Sajjad Arshad offered a vote of thanks. Later the high commissioner also recorded his comments in the FCCI visitor’s book.

Vice President Haji Muhammad Aslam Bhalli, Maqsood Akhtar Butt and Shafique Hussain Shah were also present during this event.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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