Karachi, November 16, 2015 (PPI-OT): Pakistan’s Ambassador to Syria Air Marshal (retd) Syed Ather Hussain Bukhari, while expressing his willingness to improve trade ties between Pakistan and Syria, said that the security situation of Syria was not as bad as being projected by the media.
“Instead of envisaging negative perception about security situation of Syria by looking at the media reports only, I will examine the ground reality during the next one-and-a-half month and I believe there are lots of chances to improve trade between Pakistan and Syria”, he added while exchanging views during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Naeem Sharif and KCCI Managing Committee members were present at the meeting.
Ather Bukhari was of the opinion that Syria was a potential market for Pakistani products and if the overall security situation improves which will be followed by rehabilitation, it will result in opening many opportunities for Pakistani business community. “Although it might be risky right now but higher risks means higher profitability and if peace prevails across Syria in the days to come, Pakistani business community will surely be in a better position to fully benefit from the situation”, he added.
On the occasion, Ather Bukhari assured to make efforts for bringing a delegation of Syrian business community to participate in Karachi Chamber’s My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony Exhibition scheduled to be organized in the month of March 2016.
He stressed that efforts must be made to promote Pakistani products and services in Syrian market, besides focusing on enhancing visits of trade delegations to both countries. In this regard, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) will also be asked to facilitate visits of such trade delegations, he added.
President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, in his remarks, stated that the Karachi Chamber, being the largest chamber of Pakistan, was keen to enhance trade with Syria but there was a need to effectively market and promote Pakistani products and services in Syria.
He said that Pakistan’s Embassy in Syria must focus on identifying the potential sectors and create linkages between the business communities of Pakistan and Syria which would help in improving the meager trade volume between the two countries.
Commenting on existing trade volume, President KCCI pointed out that during Fiscal Year 2015, Pakistan’s export to Syria were valued at $11.20 million as against $ 15.20 million in Fiscal Year 2014 showing decline of 26 percent whereas its imports from Syria amounted to $2.71 million compared with $ 0.55 million showing an appreciation of 392%.
“In this regard, efforts are needed to boost bilateral trade between the two nations, which has sharply dropped during the past few years”, he added.
He was of the opinion that keeping in view the potential of Syrian market, numerous Pakistani products including textile, cement, Halal foods, dairy products and sports goods etc. can be exported to Syria which would surely capture a sizeable share in the Syrian market. Syria can provide oil products at lower rates to Pakistan so as to help it with its increasing energy demands, he added.
He asked the Ambassador to share trade inquires with KCCI and extensively identify potential sectors during his assignment in Syria so that relevant Pakistani products could accordingly be marketed and exported.
Younus Bashir further requested the Ambassador to assist KCCI in promoting My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony Exhibition scheduled to be organized on March 25, 26 and 27 next year. Syrian participation in this mega event would provide a perfect opportunity to hold B2B meetings and explore Pakistani retail market, besides helping improve the existing meager trade volume between the two countries.
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