LAHORE - Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Malik Tahir Javaid, who is heading a 10-member delegation to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, started 'economic campaign' and held various high-profile and meaningful meetings in Jakarta.

Malik Tahir Javaid had fruitful meeting with Pakistani Ambassador in Indonesia Muhammad Aqil Nadeem, besides visiting the offices of Jakarta Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Federation of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Parts Manufacturers Association and paper & Pulp Manufacturers Association. The Ambassador also hosted a dinner in honor of the delegation, according LCCI spokesman here Tuesday.

Ambassador of Pakistan in Indonesia Muhammad Aqil Nadeem warmly welcomed the LCCI delegation and assured his full cooperation. He said that visit of the LCCI delegation would play a key role in boosting mutual trade and economic ties between the two countries and pave way for joint ventures for sustainable development and economic progress. The ambassador also lauded the serious efforts of Lahore Chamber's President for growing the external trade relations of the country.

The LCCI President and Head of the delegation Malik Tahir Javaid appreciated the Pakistani Ambassador in Indonesia for maintaining good relations with Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He said that Indonesia and Pakistan had old historical links and enjoyed cordial relations. The people of both countries were close to each other and share special bondage of friendship and companionship.

Malik said that Indonesia was a major trading partner of Pakistan as among the top importing and exporting destinations of Pakistan, Indonesia came at 3rd and 31st places respectively. Traditionally, the balance of trade had been in favour of Indonesia. Last year, the imports made from Indonesia to Pakistan were almost 16 times greater than Pakistan's exports to Indonesia. He said that the bilateral trade figure fairly indicated the economic relations between two countries but these could be even greater if Pakistan was given more access to Indonesian market. Pakistan could not obtain much benefit from PTA signed between two countries and that was why Pakistan's exports were not picking up.

"We need to make some arrangements to export items of light engineering, carpets, surgical instruments, fresh fruits and vegetables etc. at minimum duty to Indonesia so that some improvement can be brought in the present scenario," he viewed.

Malik Tahir Javaid said that there was also a lot of scope for Indonesia to make investment in Pakistan. Indonesia had a fairly advanced petro-chemical, rubber, plywood, telecommunication and tourism industry. Indonesia could make direct investment in these industries and also enter into joint ventures with Pakistani counterparts.

He proposed that these potential areas needed to be studied and monitored by the commercial sections of Pakistani respective diplomatic missions for promoting trade and investment between two countries.

During visit to the office of Jakarta Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Federation of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Parts Manufacturers Association and paper & Pulp Manufacturers Association, the LCCI president invited the Indonesian businessmen to come forward and avail lucrative trade and investment opportunities in Pakistan. He said that thriving economy of Pakistan has huge benefits for the Indonesian investors.

Other delegation members were Shahid Nazir, Awais Saeed Piracha, Muhammad Wasim, Haseeb Khawar, Shabbir Bhatti, Malik Muhammad Islam, Muhammad Farooq, Mian Faisal Majeed and Muhammad Arshad Bhatti.