Twenty junior diplomats from 19 countries witnessed the international standard craftsmanship of Sialkot based artisans and showed keen interest in Pakistan-made sports goods, surgical and musical instruments, leather products, sportswear, martial arts uniforms and cutlery items.

Talking to industrialists and exporters during their visit to several industrial units, they pledged to convince their businessmen to boost direct trade relations with Pakistan and ensure import of products from Pakistan instead of indirectly purchasing the same from other countries.

The diplomats announced to make an all-out effort to ensure easy access of the Sialkot exporters to their countries, saying that the exporters could explore and capture the international trade markets of several Asian, African and Middle East countries by exporting their products.

Flanked by Foreign Service Academy of Pakistan Director General Murad Ali, the diplomats discussed in details the matters of mutual interest with Sialkot business community during a meeting held at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Addressing the meeting, Murad Ali praised the export culture of Sialkot. He stressed a need for promoting strong trade ties with Pakistan by the Asian, African and Middle East countries, and removal of all the hurdles from the way of direct and indirect trade with Pakistan. He added that the time was ripe to promote multilateral trade ties.

On the occasion, SCCI President Dr Sarfraz Bashir urged the diplomats to promote soft image of Pakistan in their countries and play their pivotal role in promoting and strengthening better economic relations with Pakistan under the policy of promotion of country-to-country trade relations and businessmen-to-businessmen contacts.

The SCCI president told the foreign diplomats that the Sialkot exporters recognised the importance of compliance to quality, social and environment standards that had become mandatory for selling products to foreign buyers. Dr Bashir added that Pakistan is a peace-loving country which has potential to become a trade hub and is ideally placed for investment. He said that its people are true ambassadors of the country and fully committed to upholding the honour and respect of the country. He briefed the visitors about the export culture of Sialkot, socio-economic development and achievements.

The diplomats included: Muhammad Naeem (Afghanistan), Taleh Nazarli (Azerbaijan), Vei Channarith (Cambodia), Amin Muhammad Omer(Djibouti), Yankuba Ceesay (Gambia), Emmanuel Opandoh, Beryl Agyeiwaa Lomotey (Ghana), Chyngyz Iunusov (Kyrgyzstan), Khamla Phanthavong, Khamkieng Chanthavong (Lao PDR), Rabeherifara Dominique , Madam Totozafy Veronique (Madagascar),  Ali Firushaan (Maldives), Ulziisaikhan Batmadakh (Mongolia), Tejendra Regmi (Nepal), Tawfiq Rateb Hasan Khader (Palestine), Dr Djazalde Pires dos Santos Aguiar, Dr Daena Menezes da Costa Neto (Sao Tome and Principe), Rahmanova Zuhro (Tajikistan), Yhlas Djumanazarov (Turkmenistan) and Mr Dang Minh Tuan (Vietnam).