SIALKOT-Forty diplomats from European, Latin American, African, Middle East and Asian countries stressed a need for developing the business-to-business contacts between Pakistan and their respective countries for strengthening the trade ties.

They were discussing the matters of mutual interest with Sialkot exporters during a meeting held at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). Earlier, they visited several leading industrial units in Sialkot here. The foreign diplomats said that the world should focus on broadening the scope of mutual cooperation in trade, investment, energy and infrastructure development with Pakistan.

The foreign diplomats were of the view that the Sialkot exporters have set the unique examples of self help, advising the others to replicate these examples as well.

They highly hailed the unique export culture of Sialkot. They also highly appreciated the Sialkot exporters for establishing several mega projects including Sialkot international airport, Sialkot Dry Port Trust, Sialkot Export Processing Zone (EPZ), Sports Industries Development Centre and now even their own private airline on self help basis.

Flanked by the senior officials of the Pakistan Foreign Service Academy, the foreign diplomats also witnessed the production and manufacturing processes of the sports goods and surgical instruments. They witnessed the international standard craftsmanship of Sialkot based artisans.

The foreign diplomats said that Sialkot exporters have the great potential to explore and capture the world trade markets by exporting their world quality export products. They said that the Sialkot exporters were much dedicated and enthusiastic as well.

The visiting diplomats came from China, Afghanistan, Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Lao, Lesotho, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Mynanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Romania, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

On the occasion, the Sialkot based leading exporter Khawaja Masud Akhtar said that the international trade markets could have enormous demand for the items produced in Sialkot-Pakistan.

He said, “There is a huge scope for establishing joint ventures and business cooperation between their respective countries and Sialkot-Pakistan-based companies.”

On the occasion, acting SCCI President Adnan Arshad Sethi gave a detailed briefing about the achievements, targets , future goals of the Sialkot exporters and Sialkot’s development on self-help basis by Sialkot exporters.

He told the foreign diplomats that there was a huge scope for establishing joint ventures and business cooperation between their respective countries and Sialkot-Pakistan based companies especially in the field of sports goods, surgical instruments, leather products and information technology. He added that there is an urgent need to strengthen linkages between private sectors of their respective countries with Pakistan for enhancing bilateral trade.

The SCCI acting president narrated that Sialkot has a high degree of exposure to the international economy with entrepreneurs visiting worldwide market, participating in numerous trade fairs abroad and hosting visits of foreign buyers. The exposure to the international environment has led to the realisation that firms have to become more professional in order to compete favorably in the international market.

Sialkot represents an industrial setup producing specialised products that are supplied to top brands and buyers all over the world, he said. “We produce sports goods, surgical instruments, leather products, and gloves of all sorts, textiles items, sportswear, martial arts uniforms & accessories, musical instruments, kitchen ware & table ware, hollow ware, hunting knives, table cutlery/flatware, and military uniform badges. The city is earns US $ 2 billion annually to play instrumental role in strengthening economy, he added.