KARACHI: Ambassador of Spain, Carlos Morales Sanchez has said that despite many odds and perception about Pakistan, numerous Spanish companies were successfully doing ‘good business’ in Pakistan.
“Many Spanish companies are successfully doing business in this region, of which around 500 Spanish companies are in Emirates which is not far from Pakistan. We need to boost them to come to this side of the world as well”, Carlos Sanchez said.
“Unfortunately, the perception about Pakistan is not good and we need to make efforts to improve this perception which is a time taking process”, he added while exchanging views during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
Honorary Consul General of Spain in Karachi Ghouse Akbar, President KCCI Younus Mohammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President KCCI Mohammad Naeem Sharif, Former President KCCI Majyd Aziz and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present at the meeting.
The Spanish Ambassador, while underscoring the need to explore possibilities of undertaking joint ventures, advised the business and industrial community of Karachi to shift their focus from traditional items like textiles and garments etc. and consider diversification of goods being exported to Spain.
Referring to Spanish expertise in tourism sector, he said that Pakistan can also avail from the Spanish experience in tourism sector which was a great source of wealth as it contributes 11 percent to the Spanish economy and has created millions of employment opportunities.
He said that after assuming charge of the Embassy, he decided to initially visit the Karachi Chamber as he felt it very necessary to exchange views on matters of Pakistan-Spanish trade with the business and industrial community of Karachi which is the commercial, economic and financial hub of Pakistan.
Earlier, while welcoming the Spanish Ambassador, President KCCI Younus Mohammad Bashir appreciated the Spanish government for its support and cooperation to Karachi Chamber being accorded through the Spanish Embassy in Pakistan.
He said that with improved law and order situation, the Karachi city offers lucrative opportunities to Spanish investors, who can surely earn maximum profits by setting up their businesses or undertaking joint ventures. “The Karachi Chamber is keen to strengthen trade ties and exploring new bilateral trade prospects with Spain as we believe that Pakistan’s improved relations and enhanced trade with countries like Spain would surely help in dealing with the economic crisis and ensure prosperity for our country”, he added.
Younus Bashir further noted that during Fiscal Year 2015, Pakistan exported goods worth $788.19 million while Pakistan’s imports from Spain totalled $123.68 million which indicates a trade volume of more than $900 million.
He was of the view that Spain, being one of the world’s leading countries in the development and production of renewable energy, solar power and wind energy, can help Pakistan to overcome its energy crisis through technology transfer. Moreover, Spanish investors have a strong opportunity to invest in the energy sector as Pakistan is looking for solutions to alleviate its energy problems, he added.
He was fairly optimistic that the bilateral trade between the two countries can grow manifold, if concerted efforts are made from both sides by devising an effective strategy to bring the business communities of the two countries closer.
“We also want to promote Spanish investment in Pakistan and do everything for the development of Pakistan-Spanish business cooperation”, Younus Bashir said and emphasized the need to make efforts to enhance linkages between the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its counterpart chambers in Spain.
He also requested the Spanish Ambassador to assist KCCI in promoting 13th My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony exhibition scheduled to be organized in the month of March next year. My Karachi will provide an excellent opportunity to Spanish businessmen and industrialists to showcase their products and create strong linkages with the business community of Karachi by holding B2B meetings in a cordial atmosphere, he added.