JCCI chairman visits LCCI: enormous scope exists to expand Pak-Saudi economic ties (Business Recorder (Pakistan))

Enormous scope exists to expand the economic relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan while both the countries could expand trade ties through initiating joint efforts and by signing MoUs. The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) Vice Chairman Mazen Bin Mohammed Batterjee said this while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) here on Thursday.
LCCI President Ijaz A Mumtaz, SVP Mian Nauman Kabir, VP Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi and Board Member of JCCI Khalaf Bin Housaan Al Otaibi also spoke on the occasion.
Mazen Bin Mohammed Batterjee maintained that expansion of trade would ensure that only the qualified and skilled people go to Saudi Arabia so that more demand for Pakistanis will be created. Saudi businessmen could be motivated to come and invest in Pakistan to set up dairy industries. There are other areas of mutual interest where investment can be made on a reciprocal basis, he said.
Emphasising the need for involving chambers of the two countries in expanding economic ties between the two countries, he said, people from the chambers of both the countries could sit together to thrash out ways and means to accelerate the process of expansion of trade between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. He said that businessmen from both countries should be encouraged for participation in exhibitions held in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
He was of the view that investors from Saudi Arabia should also be invited to visit Pakistan to familiarise them with conducive investment environment existing in Pakistan. If the Saudi businessmen start visiting Pakistan frequently, it will raise the level of confidence of investors and entrepreneurs from Saudi Arabia who would then think positively about investing in Pakistan. This could be a major breakthrough, he opined.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Chief Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Saudi Arabia is one of the largest trade partners of Pakistan and there exists lucrative opportunities for Saudi investors in the fields of oil and gas, petroleum and petrochemicals, power (coal, hydel, gas based), textile manufactures, banking and financial services, fertilisers industries, gems and jewellery, light engineering, furniture, food and fruit processing, packaging, livestock, dairy farming, fisheries, infrastructure, IT and Telecom.
Ijaz A Mumtaz said that our Saudi counterparts can come and invest in Pakistan as foreign investors are allowed to invest in industrial projects on 100 percent equity basis. Similarly, we are also ready to invest in Jeddah if there are good business opportunities available for us there.
He also suggested establishment of Saudi Arabia Desk in Lahore Chamber and similarly Pakistan Desk in the premises of Jeddah Chamber.
It may be noted that Pakistan mainly imports oil from Saudi Arabia which is almost 76 percent of total imports. Saudi Arabia comes at 4th place among the top importing countries for Pakistan and its total value is US 3.84 billion dollars in 2013. The total worth of Pakistan’s exports to Saudi Arabia is US 494 million dollars in the same year.