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Spain Envoy for direct interactions between private sectors to improve Pak-Spain bilateral trade January 27, 2017
Meeting at ICCI
H.E. Mr. Carlos Morales, Ambassador of Spain said that promoting frequent interactions between private sectors of Pakistan and Spain was necessary to raise awareness about potential areas of mutual cooperation and improve bilateral trade between the two countries. He said this while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said after the grant of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by the European Union, Pakistan’s exports to Spain have improved due to which bilateral trade in 2015 reached US$ 1.1 billion while the balance of trade was in favor of Pakistan. He said that after GSP Plus, Pakistan’s exports to Spain improved by 44 percent during the first year, 24 percent second year but only 5 percent during the third year. He said Pakistan’s exports to Spain mostly consisted of textiles and stressed Pakistan should focus on diversification of its exports to achieve better results. He said Spain was third largest trading partner of Pakistan in EU and 7th largest in the world. However, there was more scope for improving trade relations between the two countries.  
He said TDAP should inform Spain Embassy in advance about upcoming trade fairs in Pakistan so that Spanish companies could be motivated to participate in such events. He said over 120,000 Pakistani community in Spain could act as a bridge for improving trade relations between the two countries. He said Spain’s tourism industry was the 2nd largest in the world as last year 75 million tourists visited Spain while its own population was 46 million. He said Pakistan could promote tourism by improving infrastructure and encouraging domestic tourists and Spain could cooperate with Pakistan in tourism sector. He said ICCI delegation should visit Spain to explore new areas of mutual collaboration and assured that Spain Embassy would cooperate in making its visit successful. 
In his welcome address, Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan and Spain enjoyed cordial political relations since 1951 which should be transformed into thriving trade and economic relations as the current volume of two-way trade between the two countries did not reflect true potential. He said Pakistan’s major exports to Spain included some textiles products while Pakistan’s major imports from Spain included all sorts of machinery & parts, chemical materials & products, iron & steel etc. which showed that bilateral trade was confined to few items and stressed for focusing on areas to further promote bilateral trade. 
He said Pakistan’s leather products, surgical instruments, sports goods, fruits and many other products could provide good value for money to Spanish customers. Similarly, Spain could exports its quality machinery and latest technology to Pakistan in many areas. He said Spain was strong in tourism and it could help Pakistan in further developing its tourism industry. He said frequent exchange of trade delegations and organizing single country exhibitions should be encouraged to promote trade and economic relations up to real potential. Khalid Malik Senior Vice President, Tahir Ayub Vice President ICCI, Hasan Iqbal Gardezi, Rana Mubashar, Rashid Humayun, Khalid Chaudhry, Ms. Nasira Ali and others also spoke at the occasion.

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