ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan and Eritrea have had close ties before and during the colonial days while Pakistan has always been supportive of Eritrea's freedom and it was also one of the first countries to support Eritrea's independence from Italian colonialism. This was stated by President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Muhammad Ijaz Abbasi while talking to Wolde. G. Habte, Counsellor of Embassy of the State of Eritrea who called on him here at ICCI Tuesday. He said Pakistan feels proud on establishing close bilateral ties with Eritrea in different fields of economy and wants to further increase these relations to exploit full business potential exists between the two countries. Ijaz Abbasi said that frequent exchange of business delegations between Pakistan and Eritrea would go a long way in enhancing and cementing bilateral relations. He said Pakistan is eager to pursue an aggressive economic diplomacy so as to reap the abundant financial benefits as well as investment opportunities that exist in Eritrea. President ICCI said Pakistani businessmen and investors are also keen to penetrate the Eritrea's markets to exploit the business opportunities in potential areas of investment and expressed his optimism that Eritrea's embassy will play its due role in facilitating business trips of Pakistani entrepreneurs to Eritrea. Muhammad Ijaz Abbasi said that regular mutual contacts of our business people would play a key role in taking the historic relationship between the two countries towards more substantive economic and commercial ties. He laid special emphasis on increasing cooperation in economic, agricultural, education and health fields and stressed for institutionalised contacts between the business communities of two countries. Speaking on the occasion, Wolde. G. Habte, said that like Pakistan, Eritrea has also an agricultural economy as some 80% of our population is involved in farming and herding which offers great trade potential in this sector between the two countries. He said Eritrea's agricultural products include sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, and sisal while cattle like sheep, goats, and camels are raised and hides are produced. He said that potentials of investment opportunity in Eritrea is unlimited being still a virgin land, particularly in mining, tourism and the Free Zone on the ports of Massawa and Assab on the costs of the Red Sea. He said Eritrea's natural resources include gold, potash, zinc, copper, and salt but they have not yet been fully exploited and Pakistani businessmen and investors can earn huge returns by venturing into these areas. He said Eritrea's oil and gas reserves, agriculture and other sectors are also potential areas of investment for foreign investors.He informed that Eritrea's main imports include machinery, petroleum products, food and manufactured goods while exports comprise livestock, sorghum and textiles and called upon the entrepreneurs and investors of Pakistan to explore further business opportunities in these sectors which will benefit the economies of the two countries.