Chaudhry Sarwar says red tape in opening business removed
UAE's Minister of Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan met Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The two sides discussed ties between the UAE and Pakistan and ways of developing them in various fields. - Wam
Bilateral trade between the UAE and Pakistan reached $7 billion last year and is projected to reach $10 billion in the next few years.
By Waheed Abbas
Published: Mon 14 Jan 2019, 4:00 PM
Last updated: Mon 14 Jan 2019, 6:37 PM
Strengthening ties with brotherly countries, including the UAE, is the top priority of the Pakistan government, a senior Pakistan official said on Saturday.
Chaudhry Sarwar, Governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, said that stronger, country-to-country ties benefited Pakistanis living in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the UK and other countries.
"If the country-to-country relations are not at a strong level, it affects Pakistanis living and working in the foreign country. So I reassure you that maintaining strong relations with brotherly countries - especially those who stood with Pakistani in testing times, will be the top priority of the Pakistan government. And the UAE is one of those countries with whom the relations will be very stronger. The UAE's founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, had special relations with Pakistan. And the UAE is now home to 1.4 million Pakistanis who contribute a large chunk of money through remittances," Sarwar said while addressing the Pakistani business community in Dubai.
Recently, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visited Pakistan following the two visits by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to the UAE. In addition to the $3 billion financial support extended by the UAE, the two countries will also strengthen ties in economic, defence and humanitarian fields. The UAE is one of the largest donors for the anti-polio campaign in Pakistan where millions of children have benefitted from it.
Chaudhry Sarwar was speaking at a dinner hosted by the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) in Dubai on Saturday. A large number of leading businessmen attended the meeting which was also addressed by Moazzam Ahmed Khan, Pakistan's Ambassador to the UAE, and Mohammed Iqbal Dawood, President of the Pakistan Business Council in Dubai.
Speaking on the occasion, Moazzam Khan said the visit of Sheikh Mohamed turned a new chapter in the UAE-Pakistan relations with a focus on long-term strategic economic partnership.
"A lot of planning is under way on how to improve trade between the two countries. Big UAE firms and sovereign wealth funds have shown keen interest and promised to invest in Pakistan. It is a win-win situation for both countries," Khan said.
Bilateral trade between the UAE and Pakistan reached $7 billion last year and is projected to reach $10 billion in the next few years. In 2017, Pakistanis working in the UAE sent Dh4.1 billion in remittances, becoming the second largest remitters from the emirates.
Chaudhry Sarwar urged the Pakistanis in the UAE to invest in the country as the government was making it easier for foreign and local investors to invest in the country.
"There is a huge opportunity in Pakistan because there is no corruption and red tape now in setting up a factory or starting a business. No one will ask you to grease their palm or give commission to start a business. Also, we will help identify projects for the investors in Punjab and other provinces; they can invest in agriculture and fish farming etc.," he said.
"We intend to increase fish exports from $300 million to $2 billion in the next 2-3 years. Also, we want to reduce pressure on country's urban areas due to massive migration from the rural areas due to non-development. The rural areas will greatly benefit from such projects," he said.