Islamabad: Mexico is taking greater interest in this part of the world and wants to further strengthen & diversify trade and economic relations with Pakistan for the mutual benefit of two countries as well as for enhanced regional access.
This was said by Mr. Ulises Canchola Gutierrez, Ambassador of Mexico to Pakistan while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
He said Mexico and Pakistan have good prospects for improving trade & exports and businessmen of both countries should be encouraged to take more initiatives for tapping all untapped areas of mutual cooperation.
He said Mexican entrepreneurs are interested to know about Pakistan’s business procedures for setting up new businesses and potential areas of investment in Pakistan.
He said Mexican economy is improving and diversifying due to which many expatriates are coming back to Mexico. It is good time that Pakistani businessmen should also explore Mexico for business opportunities.
He said the purpose of his visit to ICCI was to identify potential areas of bilateral cooperation so that his Embassy could invite a business delegation of Mexico to Pakistan for exploring business and investment opportunities.
He assured that he will keep promoting trade relations between Mexico and Pakistan through strong liaison with local Chambers of Commerce.
Speaking at the occasion, Shaban Khalid, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pak-Mexico bilateral trade of about $200 million per annum does not reflect true potential and both countries have great potential to improve trade and broaden cooperation in multiple areas.
He said our trade is quite narrow as Pakistan exports to Mexico some traditional goods such as textiles, garments, rice, surgical equipment, sports equipment and clothing while Mexico exports to Pakistan iron and steel products, wood pulp, capital goods and agricultural products.
Both countries should make efforts to diversify bilateral trade by focusing on non-traditional items. He said Pakistani Halal food, Guar, fruits and other items have good export potential to Mexico.
Shaban Khalid said strong trade relations would provide enhanced regional access to both countries as Pakistan is a gateway for Central Asia and Mexico could provide Pakistan better access to North American countries.
He said all major sectors of Pakistan’s economy including energy, agriculture, manufacturing, services etc. are open for foreign investment and time is ripe for Mexican investors to look at Pakistan as a prospective country for lucrative investment.
He added our textile industry should look into the possibility of setting up manufacturing units in Mexico and make use of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) to get access the entire North American market including USA and Canada for duty free export of textile products.
He also added that the labour rates in Mexico are relatively economical, which is an added advantage for investors.
He said both countries should focus on frequent exchange of trade delegations to explore all untapped areas for trade, joint ventures and investment. Mexico should send a sector-specific business delegation to Pakistan and ICCI would extend all possible cooperation making its visit productive and result-oriented.