Huge potential to further enhance trade ties: UAE envoy

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The Ambassador of UAE in Pakistan Hammad Obaid Ibrahimi AlZaabi, while expressing satisfaction over excellent bilateral trade and brotherly relations between Pakistan and UAE, said that there was a huge potential to further enhance trade and investment ties but various bilateral agreements need to be revitalized and updated.
Exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) on Tuesday, Emirati Envoy stated that UAE investors were keen to come to Pakistan for investing in various sectors, of which the agriculture sectors was the ‘most important sector’. President KCCI M. Shariq Vohra, Senior Vice President M. Saqib Goodluck, Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan, Chairman of KCCI’s Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Subcommittee Junaid Mundia, Former President KCCI Majyd Aziz and KCCI Managing Committee Members attended the meeting.
UAE Ambassador was of the view that investment potential exists in all provinces of Pakistan particularly in the agriculture, textile, sports and other sectors. “For us, Pakistan is a brotherly country and we consider this country as our second home”, he said, adding that UAE Embassy actively engages with Pakistani business community and tries its best to fully facilitate them. The Envoy assured to visit Karachi city again in the month of September 2021 to hold another meeting with the business community of this city.
He also invited the business community of Karachi Chamber to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai which will start from October 2021 with more than 180 countries participating in this expo. “It will provide a perfect opportunity to Pakistani businessmen to improve linkages and explore areas of trade and investment cooperation.”
He also informed that UAE has been issuing golden visas to investors with no investment limits and also to professionals for a period of ten years and they have been receiving many applications for golden visa which can be also be obtained by the business fraternity of Karachi Chamber.
Earlier, President KCCI Shariq Vohra, while warmly welcoming the Emirati Ambassador, stated that Pakistan and UAE have been enjoying excellent relations since many years and it was really heartening to see that a large number of Pakistani manpower has been working rigorously and playing a major role in the development and modernization of UAE which resulted in making it a major international transit hub.
He said that although a lot of trade of more than US$5 billion has been going on between the two brotherly countries but not much investment has been made particularly by Emirati investors in Pakistan as only a few Emirati companies have invested here which requires attention from both sides. “UAE investors must come to invest in Pakistan which offers lucrative opportunities in numerous sectors particularly the agriculture sector”, he stressed while referring to a statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan during the visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in which PM Khan welcomed UAE’s interest in investing in various sectors in Pakistan including oil and gas, logistics, ports and construction.
He particularly mentioned that investors from UAE, Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries usually get discouraged because of state’s inability to guarantee title when a foreign investor purchases land which was not just complex but also insecure as the law provides little or no protection to the investor’s title. Realizing the gravity of the situation, the Karachi Chamber has taken up this serious matter with both, the federal and provincial tiers of the government so that it could be resolved and the procedure is also simplified which would surely attract huge foreign investment all over the country.
Although Pakistan has not been receiving foreign direct investment yet, the country continues to perform exceptionally well in terms of exports which grew by 61.4 percent YoY in June 2021 whereas the domestic markets, steel, cement and automobile sectors were also doing very well.
“The boom in auto sector can be gauged from the fact that Pakistani banks issued financing of more than Rs280 billion whereas four car manufacturers are successfully operating in this market while three more are in pipeline,” he added.