Islamabad: Pakistan and Malaysia have vowed to enhance bilateral economic cooperation and explore avenues for joint ventures in a host of sectors, including agriculture, construction and Halal industry.
The understanding to “tap full potential of bilateral economic relations” was reached here at the joint meeting of the Pakistani and Malaysian chapters of the Pakistan Malaysia Business Council. Deputy Minister for International Trade and Investment of Malaysia, Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir attended the meeting as the ‘Guest of Honour’ while Datuk Salim Bin Fateh Din, Chairman Malaysia-Pakistan Business Council, Mr. Bashir Jan Muhammad, Chairman Pakistan-Malaysia Business Council, Chairman Trade Development of Authority of Pakistan, Mr. Tariq Iqbal Puri and High Commissioner for Pakistan to Malaysia Mr. Masood Khalid also spoke on the occasion.
In his address, Dato’ Mukhriz Bin Tun Mahathir lauded the setting up of the Joint Business Council (JBC), calling it an ideal platform for businessmen from both countries to come together and explore ways for enhancing the bilateral trade which he said had already registered an impressive hike after the signing and operationalisation of Free Trade Agreement in 2008. However, he believed there was still considerable scope for further improving the bilateral trade given the enormous opportunities existing in both countries, particularly in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure development and veterinary, fruit and vegetables.
Speaking on the occasion, Datuk Salim Bin Fateh Din and Mr. Bashir Jan Muhammad noted with appreciation what they saw as a significant increase in the bilateral trade in recent years. They urged the private sectors from both countries to make full use of the platform offered by JBC for networking and business match making. Both the chairmen called for greater cooperation in the agriculture and Halal sector. They agreed to use their chairs to progressively educate and encourage the private sectors in two countries to leverage the FTA to explore long-term and sustainable trade and investment ventures.
In his address, Mr. Tariq Iqbal Puri, Chairman Trade Development of Authority of Pakistan, hailed the facilitation and networking facilities provided by the Joint Business Council to businessmen seeking joint ventures. He emphasized the need to broaden the import base of Pakistani products as Pakistan was in a strong position to export more rice, fruits and vegetables to meet the needs of the Malaysian market. He also urged the Malaysian businessmen to explore the vast Pakistani market and enter in joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Masood Khalid, High Commissioner for Pakistan to Malaysia, appreciated the good work done by JBC in promoting bilateral trade and investment relations. He called for promoting business-to-business interactions to tap the full potential of bilateral economic cooperation. He hoped frequent interactions between businessmen from the two countries would lead to more trade besides opening new avenues for investment and joint ventures.