Huge potential to enhance trade with Australia in different sectors: Ayesha Bakhsh

LAHORE: A huge potential exists to enhance Pak-Australia cooperation in the areas of Energy, Livestock, Agriculture, Mining, Advance Manufacturing and Education therefore the Pakistani businessmen belonging to these sectors should avail the available opportunities.

This was stated by Pakistan’s Honorary Investment Consul in Melbourne Ayesha Bux, who was heading a six-member strong business delegation, while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari threw light on ongoing economic situation while Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah and Vice President Kashif Anwar also spoke on the occasion.

She said that Pakistani pavilion had been established in Melbourne where Pakistani businessmen could display their products while a food exhibition is also being arranged this year and by taking part in it Pakistani businessmen could make inroads in that market which offers huge untapped potential.

Ayesha Bux said that the fact remains that there was a huge trade imbalance between the two countries and the efforts were well on way to bridge this gap. She urged the Pakistani businessmen to avail cutting-edge Australian technology for food processing and dairy sector as Australia has proven capability in these areas.

Quite a few big Australian companies have finalized their investment plans to put their money in new ventures in this part of the world that has all the resources to become a good trade and investment destination.

Throwing light on trade and investment scenario, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that the economy was taking off as the government was striving hard to clear the stigma of terrorism. He said that it was very encouraging for the foreign investors that the talks were well on the way to improve law and order situation.

The LCCI President said that economic indicators were quite positive as the GDP in the last six months was recorded at 5 per cent against 2.9 per cent last year. He said that the trade deficit was declining while both the foreign reserves and the remittances were fast improving.

Engineer Sohail Lashari said that the investors from European Union, China and Middle East were planning to invest in Pakistan only because of the business friendly policies introduced by the present government.

The LCCI President said that the dairy and livestock sector was growing well in Pakistan and there was still a tremendous potential of growth, which could be explored through joint ventures between the Pakistani and Australian businessmen.

Engineer Sohail Lashari said that the trade figures between two countries from the last few years are showing increasing tends but the trade gap is expanding in favour of Australia on consistent basis.

“We need to attain bigger share in imports made by Australia. It can be materialized through your active cooperation.”

Sohail Lashari said that Pakistan has earned great name in the world of fashion garments and can cater to the market of Australia. Similarly there are number of projects going on in collaboration with multinational companies which may give you a fair idea about the economic development taking place in Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan is already exporting bed & kitchen linens, rice, leather garments, men’s wear, electro-medical apparatus, woven cotton fabrics, sports goods, cereal flours and footwear.

Out of total exports of Pakistan only 0.7% finds their way to Australia which further determines that this market has to be explored to bring some diversification in export destinations of Pakistan.

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