ISLAMABAD - Pakistan was the second largest trading partner of Malaysia in South East Asia last year, Therefore, both the countries should make efforts to take these relations to a new height by aggressively exploring opportunities for joint ventures in various sectors.

These remarks were made by Dr Hasrul Sani Bin Mujtabar, High Commissioner of Malaysia in Pakistan, during a meeting with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Yassar Sakhi Butt.

He said that Pakistan produces quality and affordable agricultural products and especially Pakistani rice and mangoes have great demand in Malaysian markets while Malaysia complements this with its expertise and more access to ASEAN trade civility of free trade agreements.

Malaysian High Commissioner was optimistic that bilateral trade volume of Pakistan and Malaysia could be increased by finding new avenues of opportunities and cooperation. He also assured that his country would increase volume of import of Pakistani agro-products which would enhance bilateral trade relation between two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Yassar Sakhi Butt, President ICCI, said that current increase in bilateral trade between Pakistan and Malaysia was subsequent to the signing of FTA between the two countries in 2007 but Pakistan’s share in the bilateral trade is only $257 million, which has tilted the balance of trade heavily in favour of Malaysia. Thus, he said, there is a dire need to balance this gap by increasing export of Pakistani products to Malaysia.

He called on the Malaysian business community to take advantage of vast Pakistani market and investment opportunities in agriculture, construction, livestock and dairy, energy, education, IT and Halal industry sectors. Yassar Sakhi Butt was of the view that organizing of joint cultural events was the option which could be used to bring people of both nations closer to each other as well as exploit untapped bilateral trade and investment potential in both countries.

ICCI President said that all Muslim countries should further promote and strengthen their economic ties and cooperation for exploiting the existing potential and ensuring maximum possible trade exchange.