KCCI, APC sign MoU for strengthening bilateral trade

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KARACHI: The Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Australia Pakistan Chamber of Trade, Commerce & Industry (APC) wherein the two Chambers have agreed to devise framework of cooperation and develop a number of actions aimed at further strengthening bilateral trade and relationship between Pakistan and Australia.

The MoU was inked by President KCCI Muhammed Tariq Yousuf and President APC Muhammad Asif during the visit of APC delegation to KCCI. Senior Vice President Touseef Ahmed, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Haris Agar, Treasurer APC Ali Abid, Member APC Muhammad Shoaib and others were also present on the occasion.

According to the MoU, KCCI and APC would initiate establishment of friendly and cordial relations between Australia and Pakistan through increased cooperation amongst industrialists, businessmen, and entrepreneurs of the two Chambers in addition to recognizing the possibilities and potentialities of growth, development and promotion of bilateral trade, investment and tourism between the two friendly countries.

Both Chambers have also agreed to appreciate the scope of further expansion of bilateral trade relations within the framework of the laws and regulations prevalent in Pakistan and Australia, besides realizing the need to foster a spirit of better cooperation and coordination between business communities of both countries in general and their respective members in particular for the development of trade and commerce.

Speaking on the occasion, President APC Muhammad Asif, while highly appreciating KCCI for joining hands with APC for promotion of business ties, stated that although there was a huge potential for Pakistani products in the Australian market but these were rarely available as this important market has not been given due attention hence, it has largely been captured by the Pakistan’s regional competitors including India and Bangladesh. 

Keeping in view the huge potential for enhancing trade and investment ties with Australian business community, he advised the Karachi Chamber to send a trade delegation to Australia so that they could discuss possibilities of improving trade and explore opportunities in numerous sectors of the economy particularly the textiles, food, agriculture and IT Sectors which has been booming in Australia.

He stressed that as there was a huge demand and people prefer buying Pakistani products in Australia hence, the business community of Karachi must look into the possibility of capturing the lucrative Australian market by identifying potential areas for more trade and also upgrading the packaging of goods which were regularly being sent to Australia since many decades but they carry the same old packaging making them less attractive as compared to Indian products whose packaging was being upgraded regularly after every few months. 

President KCCI Muhammed Tariq Yousuf, in his comments, opined that the Pakistan’s missions abroad including the commercial counselors deputed in Australia have not been able to deliver which was the basic reason for shifting most of the export business to India and Bangladesh whose representatives have been working really hard to enhance exports to Australia.

He was of the view that Bangladesh enjoys a sizeable share in the Australian market only due to special duty-free concessions being offered to this country hence, Pakistan was unable to do so because Pakistani textile exporters simply cannot compete with Bangladesh when they were subjected to normal duties. “APC must raise this issue at the governmental level in Australia and we will also do the same by taking it up with the Ministry of Commerce so that the policymakers of the two friendly countries could discuss this particular issue and look into the possibility of providing similar facility to Pakistan as well which would certainly give a big boost to the existing trade volume”, he added while stressing the need for having Preferential Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Australia.

He said, “We need to work seriously for the betterment of trade and investment cooperation and take those steps which are in the interest of our countries.”

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