Malaysian High Commissioner in Pakistan Ikram bin Muhammad Ibrahim has said that Malaysia wants to enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan as both countries have a good potential to trade in a significant number of goods.

During a meeting at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Ibrahim said processed food products of Pakistan had a good scope which could penetrate the Malaysian market.

Shedding light on the obstacles, he said lack of better connectivity between private sectors of Malaysia and Pakistan was a hurdle to boosting bilateral trade up to the real potential, which needed to be addressed.

The envoy emphasised that Pakistani manufacturers should focus on products that had a high demand in the global market in order to improve exports.

He said private sectors of both countries should take full advantage of Pakistan-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to improve the two-way trade volume.

Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said Pak-Malaysia trade did not reflect the real potential of both countries and both should facilitate the private sector in promoting the two-way trade.

He pointed out that many Pakistani products including rice, wheat, mango, halal food, seafood, meat products, cutlery and sports goods, spices, handicrafts, light engineering goods, hospital and surgical equipment, pharmaceuticals and gems and jewellery could find a good market in Malaysia.

Khan said a large number of industries including some prominent pharmaceutical companies were functioning in the Kahuta Industrial Triangle, but the industrial estate was ignored due to which it was plagued with many problems including broken roads, faulty street lights, non-functional water and sewerage systems.

He asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to start development work in the Kahuta Industrial Triangle on a priority basis in order to facilitate the growth of industrial activities and export promotion.

Founder Group Chairman Mian Akram Farid said the government was keen to promote industrialisation for economic stability.

However, he suggested that the government should focus on addressing key issues of the industrial sector and develop all existing industrial estates on modern lines, which would boost industrial activities and improve exports.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2021.

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