Envoy stresses boosting Pak-Malaysia trade
FAISALABAD-Pakistani High Commissioner to Malaysia Nafees Zakaria has underlined the importance of boosting bilateral trade between the two countries, and urged the business community to play a pivotal role for the purpose.
Addressing the members of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he said that Malaysia was a small country with total population of about 30 million but every year 26 million tourists visit the country which is quite enough number to create demand of Pakistani goods of different kinds.
Mr Zakaria said that he would try his best to bring the business community of the two countries closer so that they could launch joint ventures for value addition which will also generate much needed economic activities in Pakistan. He said that he was also contemplating to set up a display centre for Pakistani products in addition to establishing a cultural centre in Malaysia to cement the people-to-people contacts.
He requested the FCCI president to identify specific products of textile chain to pave the way for its exports to the Malaysian markets. He said, “Although Malaysia is itself a small market but through the brotherly Islamic country, we could have access to a big market of ASEAN. However, for this purpose, the government as well as business community would have to make concerted efforts with a strong commitment of patriotism.” He said that 20 percent of Malaysian people are Buddhists. Pakistan has many religious sites for the Buddhist community but during last few years not even a single Buddhist visited Pakistan, he said. He added that he would also try to exploit the important aspect of Pakistan to promote religious tourism for the Baddish community.
He said that he had planned to organise an exhibition of Pakistani products in April next year in Malaysia in collaboration with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He invited FCCI as well to join the initiative to market the Pakistani products. He further said that Malaysian government had ratified an agricultural agreement which will also help us export agricultural products to Malaysian markets. However, he added, Pakistan exporters must examine the agreement to explore new potential of Malaysian market for the export of agriculture products. He said Pakistan has potential to export fish but we had failed to tap the potential.
Regarding exchange of trade delegations, he said that he could immediately arrange video conferences for the Pakistani exporters with the Malaysian importers so that they could negotiate and decide to launch joint ventures or make deals for the import and export deals.
He said that Malaysian educational institutes are also ranked among the best ones in the region while there fees are comparatively less than those in European countries. He said that Pakistani students should avail of the opportunity. He assured the meeting that he would also try to convince Malaysian government to offer sufficient a number of scholarships for the Pakistani students aspiring to study in Malaysia. He further said that approximately 100,000 workers were employed in Malaysia. But, he said, there was still room to export human resource to the country and that he would certainly focus on the aspect as well.
He said, “Malaysia is our brotherly Islamic country. We have good relations with this country but we have failed to develop business relations with it. The reason for this situation is not that the diplomats stationed there are not properly working but it is only due to lack of interest shown by our exporters who are only focusing on the developed European and Western countries.” He asked the FCCI president to share market studies conducted by FCCI so that he could further fine tune it to make room for Pakistani exports to the Malaysian markets.