KARACHI   -   President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Engr Daroo Khan Achakzai has shown his serious concern on low level of trade among OIC countries and stressed on increasing intra-OIC trade.

At present, the trade volume is only nine percent of total trade of OIC countries, said a FPCCI statement.

He indicated that the OIC bloc is the largest bloc in the world in terms of number of member countries; represented one fourth of total land with 23.5 percent of the world population. The share of OIC member states in global GDP is approximately 8 percent and they constitute nearly two percent of world trade.

“Muslim countries have enormous resources and potential to succeed, but the uphill task is to translate these potential into real asset. Promotion of economic linkage within the Muslim communities by creating opportunities can help generate greater flow of capital from within and beyond the Islamic world,” he reaffirmed.

He underlined that the direction of trade is influenced by many factors including costs, market access, connectivity, quality, standards and competition, but if business communities and policy makers work together in identifying the market opportunities and addressing trade barriers, it would be possible to create more opportunities for trade among OIC countries.

The FPCCI President said there is great need to promote integration amongst the Islamic countries in the era of globalization and absence of unity among the OIC countries is the biggest challenge in the present uncertain political and economic situation in Islamic countries.

He noted that the increasing consumption of Halal products has created a big market for Muslim in the world because of safety, hygiene, and ethical quality.

This is a big opportunity for Muslim nations to explore this market particularly from non-Muslim nations through competitiveness, innovation and inventions. Moreover, the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers like visa restriction, compliance, removal of language barriers, strong connectivity and opening of banking channels can create economic integration among countries, he said.

Being a member of OIC, Pakistan is playing a crucial role to strengthen the economic and trade relations among Muslim countries. The headquarters of apex trade body of OIC i.e. Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA) is also located in Karachi. It plays an important role in enhancing the regional trade and promotion of investment.

It is an honor that Pakistan will host the 27th Board of Directors meeting of ICCIA in November 2019, which will be attended by all member countries of OIC. On the sideline of meeting, an investment conference will also be organized, which will provide opportunity to Islamic countries to get first-hand knowledge of investment opportunities available in Pakistan.