FAISALABAD: Pakistan’s share of the $100 billion South African import market is quite negligible and the Pakistani private sector needs to enter it aggressively under the ‘Look Africa’ policy, Mthuthuzeli has said Madikiza, High Commissioner of South Africa.
Addressing the business community at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he said that being an import economy, it offers Pakistan a wide range of products in this market.
He said South Africa is a mineral-rich country and Pakistani investors could also benefit from this opportunity. He said Pakistan could export mangoes instead of avocados under a barter system, but direct contacts between the two countries’ business communities are essential.
Responding to a question on the law and order situation, he said security problems are similar all over the world. He said South Africa is more suitable for imports and exports with other landlocked African countries as it has a well-equipped seaport.
Regarding tourism, he said that the picturesque valleys of northern areas of Pakistan are more beautiful than those of Switzerland, but Pakistan should make these areas easily accessible to tourists. He also stressed the need to exploit untapped opportunities in both countries.
Former FCCI President Dr Khurram Tariq welcomed the High Commissioner and said that Faisalabad was established in 1898 as a ‘Mandi’ city by the British rulers. “This city was designed on the lines of the Union Jack,” he said, adding that now it has progressed and become the third largest city in the country and the second in terms of revenue generation and job creation. He said the FCCI has 8,500 members who represent over 100 sectors and sub-sectors.
He said Faisalabad plays a key role in textile exports but we cannot export to South Africa due to high customs duty. He asked the High Commissioner to review it to pave the way for textile exports to the South African market.
He said that about one lac Pakistani is installed in South Africa and a local company is also providing consultancy services in your country. Dr Khurram Tariq stressed the need to sign an FTA to strengthen bilateral trade and organize a unique national exhibition to showcase exportable surpluses.
Muhammad Azhar Chaudhary, Rana Faysal and Mian Tayyab participated in the question and answer session while President Dr Khurram Tariq presented the FCCI shield to Mthuthuzeli Madikiza, High Commissioner of South Africa. Senior Vice President Dr. Sajjad Arshad gave a vote of thanks. Later, the High Commissioner also recorded his comments in the FCCI guestbook.
Vice President Haji Muhammad Aslam Bhalli, Maqsood Akhtar Butt and Shafique Hussain Shah were also present at this event.
Commercial Copyright Recorder, 2023