LAHORE  -   To facilitate the business community, Consulate of United Arab Emirates will start operations in Lahore soon.

It was revealed by the Ambassador of UAE Hammad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The Ambassador said that Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued NOC for establishment of UAE Consulate in Lahore. He said that it is a giant leap towards expanding mutual trade and economic ties.

He said that UAE and Pakistan have agreed to sign a new agreement to further strengthen bilateral relations. He said that two recent visits of Prime Minister Imran Khan have opened new avenues for cooperation. He said that 15 top UAE companies visited Pakistan and had meetings with their Pakistani counterparts. He said that UAE investors are interested to invest in renewable energy, power, oil and gas sectors of Pakistan. The Ambassador informed that meeting of Pak-UAE joint committee will be held in February 2019 that will be the first meeting after 2012.

LCCI President Almas Hyder said that Pakistan and UAE have close, diplomatic and cooperative relations. These ties are well reflected in sizeable trade volume and cooperation in various fields including defence sector.

Almas Hyder said that the balance of trade has always been in favour of UAE because major share of imports made from UAE consist of petroleum products and crude oils.

 He said that during last three years, Pakistan’s exports remained below one billion dollar which went as high as dollar 2.87 billion in 2012. The volume of exports to UAE in 2017 was just dollar 869 million. It is a matter of concern for us and we are keen to revive the same level. He said that there is a consistent rise in imports from UAE to Pakistan. From 2015 on, the imports figures are going up year after year closing in at dollar 7.52 billion in 2017.

Pakistan’s major items of exports to UAE are rice, meat, bed & kitchen linens, fresh fruits and vegetables etc. Similarly Pakistan imports crude oil, petroleum products, ferrous waste & scrap of iron & steel, polymers of ethylene and propylene etc.

The LCCI President said that the workers’ remittances play a substantial role in strengthening the balance of payment of Pakistan. At present, our country is in great need of additional remittances. He said that UAE comes at second place after Saudi Arabia with regards to receiving highest amount of foreign remittances.

He said that UAE has imposed new restriction for seeking work visa. He said that special preference should be given to Pakistan so that we could send maximum manpower to UAE. 

Almas Hyder said that other than professionals like doctors, engineers and teachers etc., Pakistan can provide technically skilled workers formally trained in vocational institutes. Since Urdu language is commonly spoken all across UAE so there is least language barrier for our workers while working there. He said that there is also a lot of scope for UAE to make investment in Pakistan. We know that you can be very helpful in routing the flow of investment to Pakistan.

“Timely decisions taken by our respective governments and the representatives of private sectors will allow both countries to prosper all across the fields”, the LCCI President concluded.