SIALKOT

Nepal is very keen to enhance trade, tourism and business activities with Pakistan, making investment in the sectors and setting up new joint ventures in different trade fields in Pakistan.

Ambassador of Nepal in Pakistan Mr Bharat Raj Paudyal visited Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Wednesday, and discussed the prospects of doing business and making investment with the business community during a meeting.

Paudyal said that there were bright opportunities of setting up joint ventures with Sialkot-Pakistan business community in different trade fields, as the several Nepalese companies were showing keen interest in this regard.

The meeting also discussed opportunities available in Nepal, particularly for the traders, investors and tourists. Earlier, the Nepalese ambassador also visited several leading industrial units in Sialkot amid tight security. He witnessed international standard craftsmanship of Sialkot based artisans and highly hailed the unique export culture of Sialkot. He also showed keen interest in production of Sialkot-made sport goods and surgical instruments. He vowed to make efforts to boost mutual trade ties between Pakistan and Nepal, saying that the time was ripe to further strengthen ties and increase the trade volume in favour of Pakistan. He said that both the countries have been enjoying the cordial trade relations. He pledged full support and technical assistance to ensure easy access of Pakistan business community to international Nepalese trade markets.

Mr Paudyal agreed to SCCI proposal regarding the regular exchange of updated trade information and mutual trade delegations to enhance the trade between the two countries.

On the occasion, Acting SCCI President Sarfraz Butt said Sialkot-made sports goods, surgical instruments, leather products, gloves of all sorts, textiles items, sports wear, martial arts uniforms & accessories, musical instruments, kitchen ware, hollow ware, knives, cutlery items and military uniform badges etc. could find a good market in Nepal. The main hurdle is direct link between business communities of both the countries. There is lack of communication and proper marketing.

The acting SCCI president added that Sialkot exporters have a great potential to explore and capture the international trade markets of Nepal by exporting their world class traditional and non-traditional export products. For improving bilateral trade, Sialkot exporters suggested that exchange of trade delegations and one-to-one meetings of businessmen of both sides may be arranged. This would require both sides to ensure a simple visa process to enable the businessmen to meet each other as and when needed. Sialkot is a unique city enriched with its historical background and strong industrial base. It is one of the most important economic centres, recognized as the only export oriented city of the country. With the gradual growth of exports, the industrialists decided to setup a platform for facilitation in business activities and other relating matters, he added.

He narrated that the Sialkot-made footballs, field hockey sticks, cricket gear, and boxing gloves are used in international games including the Olympics and World Cups. It is the distinction of Sialkot that the hands stitched soccer balls made here have been used in World Soccer Cups, European Championships, and other international events. The best cricket and hockey players of the world prefer to use Made in Pakistan bats and hockey sticks which have made Sialkot a “Household Name” all over the world, they added, he added.

He told the Nepalese Ambassador that most of the developed countries are importing surgical instruments from Sialkot. In leather products and textile sportswear, Pakistan competes with other countries, in quality and style. Similar is the case with other items produced in Sialkot, he said.