VP FPCCI proposes JBC, MoUs with Spanish Chambers

KARACHI: The Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Sheikh Imtiaz has proposed Joint Business Council (JBC), signing of MoUs between FPCCI and Spanish Chambers of Commerce and single country exhibitions to boost bilateral trade.

He suggested this in his welcome address on the occasion of visit of the Ambassador of Spain to Pakistan Javier M. Carbajosa to FPCCI Capital Office on Thursday.

Vice President of FPCCI Naima Ansari, Chairman Media FPCCI Malik Sohail, former president of ICCI Zafar Bakhtawari and Ijaz Abbasi, and other business leaders including Ishtiaq Qureshi and Sheikh Abdul Waheed, Karim Aziz Malik were also present on the occasion.

Sheikh Imtiaz said that the business community of Pakistan attaches greatest importance to political, social, economic and trade relations with Spain.

He informed that FPCCI is one of the oldest bodies formed to promote the interests of business community.

The membership of FPCCI covers cross section of business community as presently 54 chambers including 8 women chambers, chambers of small traders and 110 registered trade associations are members of FPCCI.

FPCCI has its offices in the four provinces, a Capital Office at Islamabad and overseas offices at Chengdu and Kunming in China.

Sheikh Imtiaz said that the role of FPCCI for the economic development of the country is very crucial as it has been regularly furnishing proposals regarding taxation, promotion of export, industrial uplift, foreign investment, privatization and other sectors of economy.

He said that Pakistan has embarked at a highly liberalized economic and investment policy which offers numerous benefits to foreign investors including 100% equity and full rights in proprietorship or joint ventures.

Moreover, Gawadar Port provides excellent opportunities for foreign investors to put up their industry and have the direct access to the land locked markets of Central Asia and Europe.

He invited the businessmen of Spain to explore Pakistani market saying that there is a high potential for cooperation between the two countries especially in the area of energy, infrastructure, processed food, surgical goods, sports goods, trade of articles of apparel, cloth access, cotton yarn and woven fabrics, made-up textile articles, rags, and leather goods, etc.

He said that Pakistan has been enjoying a constructive trade with Spain as the volume of trade has increased during last 5 years from US$ 595 Million in 2008 to US$ 650 Million in 2013.

Speaking on the occasion the Ambassador of Spain said that his country and all of the Europe have been keenly watching developments in Pakistan which is progressing in a right direction.

Economic development and reforms are the key elements of the policy of Nawaz-led administration which will have positive outcome as Pakistan fulfils all the prerequisites to become a leading economic power.

The laws of trade and commerce are highly encouraging and country’s efforts to have cordial ties with India, Afghanistan and China can result in economic miracle, said Javier M. Carbajosa.

Ambassador said that Pakistan has huge untapped potential and tourism can produce more revenue than any other sector if security situation is brought under control and road and rail infrastructure is improved.

He said that bilateral trade between the two countries stands at 700 million dollars which has been rising for three years but a lot more is to be done.

The representative of the world’s 14th largest economy said that there exists enormous potential for investment in alternative energy resources and other sectors of Pakistan but lack of information has been impeding development.

Spain is host to over one hundred Pakistanis that have been playing a major role in development of my country, he informed.

He also blamed Western media for the situation terming it unfair with Pakistan otherwise the investment situation would have been different.

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