LAHORE - Bilateral trade is needed to be enhanced between Pakistan and Malaysia as both countries are very potential markets, said High Commissioner of Malaysia in Pakistan Dr Hasrul Sani Mujtabar while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday.

LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar presented address of welcome while Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, former President Mian Mohammad Ashraf, Executive Committee Members Mian Zahi Javed, Mahmood Ghaznavi, Tanvir Ahmad Sufi and Hasnain Reza Mirza also spoke on the occasion.

The High Commissioner urged Pakistani businessmen to be more aggressive in terms of business activities in Malaysia to compete with other competitive markets in the era of globalisation. He advised the Pakistani business community to actively participate in international conventions scheduled to be held in Malaysia in forthcoming months.

“Pakistan is a very potential market,” the High Commissioner said, adding that doing business in country like Pakistan is always very profitable.

Malaysian High Commissioner said that Malaysian International Furniture Fair, 10th International Halal Showcase, Malaysia International Jewellery Festival (Spring Edition) and Malaysia International Jewellery Festival (Autumn Edition) are going to be held in March, April and October 2013 respectively. He said that Pakistani businessmen should attend these exhibitions to develop close coordination between trade bodies like chambers of commerce & industry to expand the two way trade and economic collaboration for mutual benefits. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar hoped that the cooperation in business between two brotherly Islamic countries would further flourish in coming months.

The LCCI President said that since Pakistan is the second-largest trading partner of Malaysia in South East Asia therefore both countries should make efforts to take these relations to a new level by aggressively exploring opportunities for joint ventures in various sectors. He said that Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Malaysia has proved to be very instrumental in increasing the volume of bilateral trade.

In 2011, the volume of trade went as high as almost $3 billion which was well under $1.8 billion in 2009. The import of palm oil from Malaysia recorded almost 100pc increase in this period and its share in total imports from Malaysia is around 80 per cent.

Unlike rapid increase in imports from Malaysia, our exports showed very little expansion attaining the percentage share of Pakistan in two-way trade to merely 8 per cent. He said that private sector wants to have some justifiable share in trade with Malaysia. Pakistan produces good quality and affordable agricultural products.

Likewise, new avenues of cooperation and investment opportunities need be explored in construction, livestock & dairy, energy, education, IT and the Halal industry sectors. Such initiatives can play great role in further strengthening the trade ties between two countries.