Pakistan and Bahrain, Wednesday, supported each other on the conclusion of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). GCC comprises countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Consequently, Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan has directed the officials of commerce ministry to send the text of Framework Agreement to GCC immediately.
Both the countries in a meeting between Ministers for Commerce of Pakistan and Bahrain supported each other’s views on the conclusion of FTA between GCC and Pakistan.
Minister for Commerce observed that Pakistan attached immense importance to relations with Bahrain. He appreciated the participation of delegation in the Second Pakistan-Bahrain Business Opportunities Conference.
Dastgir maintained that Pakistan-Bahrain second business opportunities conference that are starting from tomorrow in Islamabad and which will be co-chaired by commerce ministers from Pakistan and Bahrain would certainly pave way for exploration of more business opportunities and enhancement of trade between the two countries.
In 2015-16, bilateral trade between Pakistan and Bahrain was $ 143.10 million including US$ 66.47 million exports from Pakistan and $ 76.63 million imports from Bahrain. “The two apex chambers (BCCI & FPCCI) need to devise a short-term road map for trade enhancement which should commensurate with our fraternal ties, added the minister.
Zayed R. Alzayani appreciated the commerce minister for hospitality and warm welcome and invited Pakistan for concluding FTA with GCC to boost trade. He also stressed on making the Strategic Committee functional. Zayed R. Alzayani also invited Pakistan to hold food and cultural festivals in Bahrain.
Meanwhile, The Board of Investment on Wednesday asked the Bahraini businessmen to take maximum advantage of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by investing in its projects.
Talking to a 25-member Bahraini delegation led by Chairman Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) here, Secretary, BOI Azher Ali Choudhry emphasized that Special Economic Zones (SEZ) along CPEC routes would have a natural advantage of back-word and forward linkages and owing to the experience Bahraini side, there was every possibility to maximize the advantage.
The strategic location of Pakistan might make it Asia’s premier trade, energy and transport corridor, the secretary added.
He said it was a gateway to the energy rich Central Asian States, the financially liquid Gulf States and China adding this strategic advantage alone made Pakistan, a market full of opportunities.
He said that Pakistan was located in the region which provided the biggest consumers’ market in the world.
So they can excess not only Pakistani consumer but also neighboring markets and Pakistan has a population of approximately 195 million people (6th largest in the world), 60 per cent of which is under the age of 30, which offers huge consumer market with talented labor force from unskilled to highly skilled professionals.
Source: Pak Observer