LAHORE                  -               The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and Pakistan American Business Association (PABA) have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to increase cooperation with the aim of improving trade and economic activities between Pakistan and the United States. LCCI Senior Vice President Ali Hassam Asghar and Chairman PABA Siddique Sheikh signed the document on behalf of their respective institutions. Representative of PABA Pakistan Chapter Malik Sohail Hussain, LCCI Executive Committee members Zeeshan Sohail Malik, Aaqib Asif, Malik Khalid Gujjar, Sheikh Sajjad Afzal and Wasif Yousaf were also present. According to the signed document, PABA and LCCI will work in close collaboration with the respective governments to enhance the liaison and cooperation in key sectors including but not limited to agriculture, academics, art & cultural exchanges, business information and government policies, food, education, hospitality & tourism, infrastructure, investments, jewelry & handicrafts, marbles, pharmaceuticals, professional & technical services, real estate, retail, SMEs, steel, student exchanges, taxation, transportation & energy, telecom & information technology. Both LCCI and PABA will exchange appropriate information regarding the Custom’s procedures to promote cross-border trade and business.

According to the signed MoU, it has also been agreed that in case of any dispute between the members of both organizations, it will be resolved through mutual consultations.

Siddique Sheikh said that there was minimal representation of Pakistani products in US markets which could be enhanced many times. He said that there should be strong liaison among the chambers of Pakistan and the US to strengthen trade and economic ties.

Ali Hussam Asghar said that LCCI has declared export emergency throughout the ongoing year. He said that Pakistani exports could be increased manifold with a proper research and technology transfer in every sector. He said that Pakistan has a huge potential in the export of halal food sector. He said that Pakistan’s halal food trade was only 219 million dollars which was far less than is potential. He said that with technological advancement and proper certifications of slaughterhouses, trade of this sector could immediately cross 1 billion dollars. He said that Pakistan could also earn huge foreign exchange through IT exports. He urged PABA to work for bringing US companies in Pakistan for Joint ventures in different sectors.