ISLAMABAD : The United Arab Emirates Ambassador Hamad Obaid Alzaabi has said that UAE wanted to further enhance trade relations with Pakistan as both countries have great scope to promote trade in many areas.

Pakistan and UAE should focus on developing a 10-year roadmap to take benefit from potential areas of mutual cooperation, he said while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) during his visit to the chamber. He said Pakistani business community should take active part in Annual Investment Meetings and Expo 2020 in UAE to explore possibilities for enhancing their business prospects.

The envoy said that UAE would host first international level “Expo 2020” in which 100 countries would participate and stressed that private sector of Pakistan should participate in the expo to explore business opportunities. He said hundreds of Pakistani companies were doing successful business in free economic zones of UAE and more should invest in these zone that offer attractive environment for investment. He said exchange of business delegations was important to explore new avenues of cooperation and assured that he would work with ICCI to promote connectivity between the private sectors of both countries.

In his welcome address, ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said that Pakistan and UAE enjoyed cordial relations but bilateral trade of over $8 billion was not reflective of the actual potential of both countries. He stressed that both countries should focus on promoting strong connectivity between private sectors and facilitate frequent exchange of trade delegations that would help in further enhancing current volume of bilateral trade.

He said that Pakistan and UAE should focus on developing strong linkages between their youth and women entrepreneurs by creating platforms like youth and women business councils that would help in promoting sustainable trade and economic relations between both countries. He said Pakistan offered tremendous investment opportunities to UAE’s investors in various sectors of its economy including infrastructure development, power generation, water management, agro industries and they should visit Pakistan to explore JVs and investment. He said that many areas including aluminium products, horticulture, farming, dairy farming, livestock, financial sector, prefabricated houses and affordable low income houses also offered good prospects for JVs and urged that both countries should strengthen cooperation between SMEs to achieve more beneficial results.

ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed and Vice President Nisar Ahmed Mirza emphasized for regular interaction between the ICCI and UAE Embassy to explore areas for improving bilateral trade and economic relations.