LAHORE - Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner of Australian Trade & Investment Commission John Madew Thursday called on LCCI acting president Amjad Ai Jawa and vice president Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan and had a detailed discussion on trade and economic issues. Regional Business Development Manager of Australian Trade & Investment Commission Imran Saeed Khan was also present on the occasion.

John Madew said that private sectors of the two countries should develop sustainable partnership and find out tangible ways to avail full advantage of the trade and investment potential. He said that Australia has made a considerable development in dairy and livestock sectors and its experience in these areas can be useful for Pakistan. He said that Australian universities are focusing on research & development that is a key to give boost to the trade and economy. He informed the house that Australian IT companies are finding new partners therefore Pakistani IT companies should avail this opportunity.

LCCI acting president Amjad Ali Jawa said that Pakistan and Australia enjoy good diplomatic relations and at present, both countries are engaged in cooperating with each other in many fields. He informed the participants that last year, there were two delegations – one from Sydney and other from Canberra – visited LCCI. He appreciated Australian High Commissioner for fully cooperating with the LCCI that went to Sydney in February 2017 to attend Halal Expo 2017. Our members had successful meetings in Australia.

He said that the balance of trade has been in favour of Australia but it is a matter of concern for us that the gap between imports and exports is expanding year by year. From 2014 to 2015, the two way trade surged from dollar 504 million to dollar 714 million. This increase took place due to abrupt rise in imports from Australia to Pakistan which went up from dollar 337 million to dollar 538 million during that period. Pakistan exports showed some improvement but its magnitude was not sufficient enough. The volume of exports to Australia inched up from dollar 167 million to dollar 176 million.

Amjad Ali Jawa said that Australia had a well-developed dairy and livestock sectors and Pakistani counterparts could benefit from Australia for enhancements in milk and meat production. Livestock sector of Pakistan accounts for more than 10% of GDP.

The LCCI acting president said it was really appreciative that Australian government was extending liberal scholarships to the Pakistani students and at the moment more than 15,000 students were studying in various universities of Australia.

LCCI Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan said that Pakistan was emerging globally in IT sector with young and talented pool of IT professionals and this area had great potential for mutual cooperation between the two countries.