Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, former Prime Minister of Malaysia along with a delegation visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and addressing the business community said that many Malaysian companies were keen to do business in Pakistan and both countries should focus on close collaboration for promoting joint ventures. He said the Malaysian delegation has come to Pakistan to explore new avenues of bilateral cooperation.
He said the SMEs in Malaysia were driving force for its economic development and urged that both countries should develop close links between their SMEs to further strengthen their economies. He said Pakistan and Malaysia have good potential to cooperate in Halal Industry, Oil & Gas sectors, Islamic financing, health care and many other sectors. He said Malaysia and Pakistan were stakeholders in China’s One Belt One Road project and it was a good opportunity for both countries to work together to capitalize on this mega project for improving their economies. He said Pakistan could get better access to ASEAN region through Malaysia while Malaysia could get easy access to South Asia market through Pakistan. Thus close cooperation would be mutually beneficial for both countries. He said Malaysia’s total trade was around $400 billion, but its trade with Pakistan was not satisfactory and urged that both countries should develop strong business linkages between their private sectors to improve two-way trade volume.
Speaking at the occasion, Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan and Malaysia had signed FTA in 2007 which was meant for boosting bilateral trade. However, the FTA has not produced the desired results so far as Pakistan’s exports to Malaysia in 2014 were just $ 233 million while Malaysia’s exports to Pakistan were $1.2 billion. He said the main reason of low trade volume was that both countries were doing trade in limited items as Pakistan’s main exports to Malaysia were comprised of rice, maize, cotton, textiles and vegetables whereas Malaysia’s major exports to Pakistan included palm oil, fibre board, rubber and electrical & electronic equipment. He stressed that both countries should focus on diversification of trade to achieve better results.
He said many Pakistani products including non-basmati rice, wheat, mangoes, halal food, seafood, meat products, cutlery & sports goods, spices, handicrafts, light engineering goods, hospital & surgical equipment, pharmaceuticals and gems & jewelry could find good market in Malaysia and it should focus on importing these products from Pakistan. He said Malaysia has great scope to invest in Pakistan’s various sectors including palm oil cultivation & refining, construction of low cost housing schemes and highways, livestock & dairy, energy, education, transportation, IT, shipbreaking, food processing, sports goods and Halal industry. He urged that more Malaysian investors should visit Pakistan to explore investment and joint ventures in CPEC projects and other areas of interest.
Khalid Malik Senior Vice President ICCI welcome the visiting guest. Tahir Ayub Vice President ICCI, Tariq Sadiq, Zafar Bakhtawari, Zahid Maqbool and others also spoke at the occasion.