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Pakistan requires Malaysian cooperation in becoming full-dialogue partner in ASEAN-Zafar Bakhtawari March 07, 2013
Meeting at ICCI
 
Business community of Pakistan should establish a base in Malaysia for attaining maximum trade benefits in ASEAN countries that would not only help in boosting trade activities but also prove beneficial for introducing Pakistani products in ASEAN countries which have population of over 600million.
 
Malaysian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Dr. Hasrul Sani Bin Mujtabar made these remarks while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI). He said that Malaysia and Pakistan are two brotherly Muslim countries which are enjoying cordial relations since long and stressed that these ties should further be strengthened with the passage of time.
 
Malaysian High Commissioner said that 80,000 Pakistani tourists visit Malaysia per annum and the tendency was on the rise, adding that currently there were 30,000 Pakistani living in Malaysia. He also appreciated the idea of initiating Pak-Malaysia Business Council North which would be a vital platform to spearhead more business interactions as well as social and cultural exchange between the two countries.
 
 He advised the Pakistani business community to actively participate in international conventions scheduled to be held in Malaysia in forthcoming months and also urged Pakistani businessmen to be more participative in terms of business activities in Malaysia to compete with other competitive markets.
 
In his welcome, Mr.Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI said that Pakistan and Malaysia have historic brotherly relations, thus both the countries should further strengthen the mutual trade relations by promoting business relations. He said that Pakistan has free trade agreement (FTA) with 3 countries that are Malaysia, China and Sri Lanka and Malaysia is the first Muslim country that have signed FTA with Pakistan which also reflects the importance of Malaysia for Pakistan. He further said that Malaysia should also help Pakistan in becoming full-dialogue partner in ASEAN regional bloc.  
 
Mr.Bakhtawari said that we could strengthen our economy by adopting development and progress of Malaysia as a model in numerous sectors especially in political democracy and stability as political stability is a key to economic development for any country.
 
ICCI President also stressed the need for further cooperation by Malaysian Air Line to make possible for Pakistan to have direct air link which was suspended since last two years, adding that direct air link would further enhance mutual relations between the business communities of both the countries. 
 
He said that both the sides must ensure liberal visa policy to enable the businessmen get visa easily and meet each other which is imperative to boost trade ties between the two countries as there is enough potential in various fields between the two countries to increase trade.