Tourism sector can make fortune if security concerns eliminated

KARACHI: Ambassador of Spain, Javier Carbajosa Sanchez has said that Pakistan’s tourism sector holds huge potential and has all the required elements but only a secure environment along with effective management and proper alignment of all elements can prove to be favorable for this important sector of the economy.

Speaking at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber, the Spanish Ambassador said, “This country will make a fortune out of tourism if security concerns are effectively eliminated as Pakistan holds immense tourism opportunities including beautiful sites, landscapes, diversity, cultures and people etc. but unfortunately, the security concerns were hindering growth of tourism sector.”

President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Vice Chairman BMG, Anjum Nisar, Senior Vice President KCCI, Mohammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, Former Presidents KCCI, Majyd Aziz and AQ Khalil, Honorary Consul General of Spain in Karachi, Ghouse Akbar and KCCI Managing Committee members attended the meeting.

The Spanish Envoy further underscored that the gap between reality and perception about Pakistan needs to be addressed as the perception about Pakistan overseas was not good which was unfair. Although Pakistan faces a number of challenges including security issues but at the same time, it also offers excellent investment opportunities and holds immense potential.

He recalled Spain has been enjoying good relations with Pakistan since 1951 soon after its liberation and ties between the two countries had grown significantly with the passage of time. “We are trying our best to improve all types of relations with Pakistan including political, commercial, economical and mutual etc.”, he added.

Identifying numerous areas of cooperation, he mentioned that both countries could cooperate in the renewable energy sector as Spain holds vast experience in renewable energy production and is the leading producer of renewable energy across Europe. “Pakistan can certainly benefit from the Spanish expertise in renewable energy which is highly advanced and affordable. Spain can also help Pakistan rebuild its infrastructure as we hold huge experience in building road network and harbors etc,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chairman BMG, Anjum Nisar stressed the need to undertake joint ventures in various sectors of the economy. He said that the energy and tourism sectors were playing a major role in the Spanish economy whereas Pakistan could benefit from Spanish expertise in these two important sectors by joining hands with the Spanish counterparts.

“Although both countries enjoy good trade relations but lot more still needs to be done to further improve the existing trade ties”, he added. While welcoming the Spanish Ambassador, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra sought Spanish government’s assistance to Pakistan in dealing with infrastructural and energy crisis being faced by the country. He said that Spain, being one of the world’s leading countries in the development and production of renewable energy, solar power and wind energy, could help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis through technology transfer.

Keeping in view the severe energy crisis in Pakistan, Spanish investors had a strong opportunity to undertake joint ventures in this sector, he added. Vohra further opined that there was a strong potential to improve bilateral trade while effectively utilizing the advantage of EU’s GSP Plus status to Pakistan. Cooperation could also be enhanced in the areas of fashion textiles, banking, shipping, transportation, pharmaceutical, dairy and fruits.

He stressed that by increasing trade and economic activities, Pakistan and Spain could certainly prosper on a sustainable basis.

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