FAISALABAD-The Argentina ambassador urged the Pakistani businessmen to establish pharmaceutical production units in his country and stressed a need for joint ventures and promotion of bilateral trade.

Argentina is striving hard to overcome the financial turmoil and in this connection a 15-year comprehensive strategy has been evolved to gradually alleviate poverty and inflation, said Ambassador of Argentina in Pakistan Mr Ivan Ivanissevich.

He was addressing the members of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI). He said that at present there are 50 percent poor while the inflation rate is also soaring around 20 percent in his country. Explaining the internal situation of his country, he said that it has faced worst ever crisis in the history as during last year three governments were changed. However, luckily, despite of governmental changes, there was no change in party or policy. He compared the financial crisis of his country with that of Germany that had faced historic crisis after First World War in 1942.

He said that the present government has decided to restrict imports and encourage exports. Only cheapest items are being imported and that is why Argentina imported cheap polyester from India and other cheapest items from China, he added. He said that INDUSTRIAL as well as agricultural production system has also been badly damaged which fomented inflation and price hike in the country.

Quoting different statistics, he said that there are now more than 50 percent poor in his country while price hike is hovering around 20 to 22 percent. He said that now the government is trying to gradually bring it down in a phased manner. He further said that the rate of taxes is as high as 50 to 70 percent.

He said that despite of this critical situation, Pakistan can establish pharmaceutical production units in Argentina as joint ventures. Similarly, the textile designers of Argentina are famous all over the world and Pakistani textile exporters could exploit their expertise for their mutual benefit. Regarding visas, he said that applications in this regard are received at least 45 days before as they have to get permission from as many as 25 different ministries and departments.

To a question, he said that Argentina embassy was regularly organizing cultural festivals in Lahore and Islamabad. However, the chances of organizing hockey series between Pakistan and Argentina are very bleak in the present circumstances. He told that at present there is only one Argentinean “polo” teacher in Pakistan.

Earlier, FCCI Present M Saeed Sheikh in his address of welcome said that Joint Economic Committee and Pak-Argentina Business Council are working to strengthen the bilateral economic activities between the two countries. He further said that Pakistan-Mercosur Framework Agreement on trade was signed on July 2006 at Mercosur, but we could not fully exploit its potential as compared to India.

A documentary on Faisalabad and FCCI was also screened. During question answer session Vice President Engineer Ahmad Hasan, Secretary General Abid Masood, Hasan Nadeem, Mohsin, Zeeshan Nisar and Sanaullah Niazi raised interesting questions while SVP Rana Sikandar Azam offered vote of thanks.

Later, Saeed Sheikh presented a shield to His Ivan Ivanissevich who also presented a special shield to Mohsin Nawaz who was declared best civilian shooter of the country.

Riaz Qureshi, founder of the Pakistan Shooting Association, said that this young chap got gold in All Pakistan Shooting Competition organized by Pak Army. In this event shooters from all the three armed forces also participated and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa himself presented a gold medal to Mr. Mohsin Nawaz during special function organized by the Pakistan Army.

In a meeting with UAF VC Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, the Argentinean ambassador said that his country would assist Pakistan in agricultural advancements for transforming the sector with modern tools including precision approaches, zero tillage, and proper weed eradication etc .

He said that Argentina-Pakistan agricultural ties would be further strengthened to get benefit from each other experiences. He said that there are enormous potential to collaborate in manufacturing of agricultural machinery and pharmaceutical industry, adding that his country has state-of-the-art pharmaceutical ecology to flourish.

He said that his country has earned significant advancements in basic and applied agriculture research that could benefit the other parts of the world to meet their challenges.

The Ambassador praised the steps being taken on the part of UAF for the development of the agricultural sector with quality research and trained manpower. He urged the UAF management to send scientists, farmers and students to Argentina where they would get benefit from each other’s experience.