Working for a trade-centric equation

Working for a trade-centric equation
Ahmed Shaikhani, President Pakistan Business Council, Dubai

PBC aims to promote trade and investment between the two countries PBC aims to promote trade and investment between the two countries


Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri

Published: Mon 13 Aug 2018, 12:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Aug 2018, 2:32 PM

Pakistan and the UAE are bonded in an indispensable nexus of cooperation. There is enormous business potential between the two countries, and organisations like the Pakistan Business Council (PBC), Dubai, have been at the vanguard in furthering renewed trade and commerce activity. Both the governments, as well as trade bodies, have closely interacted for the last many decades to cement a relationship that is based on mutual confidence and accessibility.
Excerpts of an interview with Pakistan Business Council, Dubai, President Ahmed Shaikhani:
How successful has the PBC been in furthering the interests of Pakistan in the UAE?
We are a group of 800 business houses and 3,000 business units in the UAE, all of whom hail from Pakistan and are well-established in Dubai, UAE, and are operational as a registered entity with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. The member business houses come from varied experiences and success stories in various fields of business, namely: real estate developer, real estate brokers, architects, financial consultants, architectural consultants, chartered accountants, machinery, food stuff, signboards, general trading, imports and exports, clearing and forwarding agents, private equity, and many more.
 What new business potential do you see for renewed interaction?
We plan to have a dialogue with the Ministry of Planning, Pakistan, and educate our members and create a common platform where the needs and possible value additions can be exchanged with one another. Apart from facilitating the members at various events, the PBC will also help develop human capital and equip them to be able to participate in event.
What is the volume of economic interaction between the two countries?
Frequent high-level exchanges and bilateral consultations between the two countries are reflective of the fact that Pakistan and the UAE have laid strong foundations of mutually beneficial relations, friendship and peaceful cooperation over the years. The UAE has emerged as one of Pakistan's major economic and trading partners. A large number of Pakistani expatriates in the UAE have contributed in a significant manner to promotion of bilateral understanding and to the economy of Pakistan through their home remittances. The UAE also has a long cricket relationship with Pakistan, serving as a home ground for the Pakistan cricket team for the past few decades. The volume of trade between the two countries is valued at more than $10 billion.
What sectors of the economy have a major potential?
The scope of trade between the two countries is enormous. Some of the basic items are vegetables, fruits, meat, poultry, rice, engineering and electrical products, textiles and information communication technology products from Pakistan.
Rice remains Pakistan's leading food export to the UAE. According to TDAP figures, Pakistan's rice sales jumped 11-fold to $207.8 million compared to the last two years.
Meat and processed frozen food exports crossed the $100 million mark in the last three years. Similarly, fruits and vegetables exports increased over 100 per cent in the last three years. Dry fruits are also in high demand in the UAE, and the volume of business for dry fruits and vegetables rose to $9.7 million and $7.8 million, respectively.
What are the objectives of PBC?
Our prime objective is to promote trade, commerce and investment between the two countries. We facilitate businessmen who are interested in investing in Dubai and other free zones in the UAE in all possible ways by providing them information in various avenues.
We also introduce Pakistani products to business houses in the UAE, especially in Dubai for investment and for joint venture in Pakistan. Organising exhibitions in Dubai for promoting Pakistani products is another salient feature. At PBC Dubai exhibit, chamber members can participate and display their products.

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