LAHORE   -  Pakistan has the most important geographic locations which made this country a principal gateway to the energy-rich Central Asian Republics (CARs) while sharing of borders with economic giant like China.

Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Almas Hyder expressed these views while addressing a 27-member delegation of foreign diplomats from West Africa, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Nepal, Thailand, Kenya, China, West Indies, Maldives, South Africa, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Gambia and various other countries, led by Foreign Service Academy (FSA) Chairman Shahbaz Malik. LCCI Vice President Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigal, former President Sohail Lashari and Executive Committee Members also spoke on the occasion.

Almas Hyder said that Pakistan provided the shortest link to Central Asian Republics and China, and was sure to become the trade and energy corridor to these countries in near future. One Belt One Road Initiative had already laid the foundation for it and CPEC (Chian Pakistan Economic Corridor) was all set to transform this dream into reality.

He said that Pakistan had a rich and diverse economic base, citing, "Our economic activities range from agriculture based raw material to aircraft manufacturing. Our economy has proved itself to be one of the most resilient economies of the world. Despite challenges, we are doing our level best to exploit the immense potential abundantly available in almost all sectors of the economy."

LCCI Vice President Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigal gave a detailed overview of Pakistan's economy.

The FSA Chairman Shahbaz Malik said that the academy offered a six-week training programme to foreign diplomats with a purpose to portray real image of Pakistan to the world.

During question-answer session, Diplomat from Azerbaijan said that the image of Pakistan was very good in Azerbaijan and the credit goes the Ambassadors of both sides and the effective role of embassies.

Diplomat from Kenya said that Pakistan should get full advantages from Free Africa Trade Agreement. He was interested to have business in Pakistan. The LCCI President Almas Hyder invited him to sign MoU with LCCI.

He said that Pakistan was ready to export experienced farmers to many countries.

Kirgizstan's representative said, "There are a lot of fields in Kirgizstan for Pakistani investors. We should work to enhance trade volume between the two countries."

Diplomat from Uganda said that there was huge trade deficit between the two countries and Uganda's import from Pakistan was US $ 258 million dollars but its export to Pakistan was meager.

Almas Hyder informed the diplomats that LCCI had planned a delegation to five countries soon to explore trade and investment opportunities. He also briefed the diplomats about efforts of the Lahore Chamber regarding ease of doing business and LCCI Corporate Social Responsibilities.