UAE and Pakistan look forward to stronger trade ties

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Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence

Dubai - The UAE is Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and a major source of investments and remittances


Rohma Sadaqat

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Published: Wed 15 Dec 2021, 5:46 PM

The UAE and Pakistan are looking to strengthen their economic ties, with a key focus on investment opportunities in the Sindh province, especially in the area of technology and sustainability, key officials said.

Speaking at the Sindh Investment Conference, which was held in Dubai, officials from both countries explored how the Sindh province, with a deep-sea port linking it to the Arabian Sea, has a massive investment potential for the UAE and GCC countries. The province also has the potential to boost bilateral trade, investment, and tourism between the UAE and Pakistan.

The conference was chaired by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and was attended by several dignitaries including Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Murad Ali Shah, chief minister of Sindh; and Afzaal Mahmood, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE.

In his keynote address, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, congratulated the Pakistani government for building the Pakistan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which highlights its culture, values and future aspirations. He also highlighted how historically Pakistan and UAE have been strong trade and business partners.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet and greet this distinguished group of business leaders from Sindh,” he said. “To all of our visitors, I extend a very warm welcome to the UAE; your presence here at Expo 2020 Dubai reflects Pakistan’s high aspirations and important goals for the future. It illustrates your strong commitment to strengthening cultural and trade relations with the UAE; your visit also highlights our joint resolve to continue to work ahead to ensure that UAE-Pakistan economic relations, and relations with the province of Sindh in particular, keep pace with Pakistan’s rapid economic progress with the UAE’s economic priorities.”

He also noted how, in the midst of an era of great change, both countries would continue to see strengthening ties. “We are confident that with our shared interest and common values of tolerance and human fraternity and international cooperation, the UAE and Pakistan will continue to promote regional security and economic prosperity. Together we will continue to meet the regional and global challenges of our time, with the spirit of brotherhood creativity and optimism. Nowhere is this spirit more apparent than at Expo 2020 Dubai.”

The UAE is Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and a major source of investments and remittances. The trade volume between the two countries amounted to around $8.19 billion in the year 2019.

Murad Ali Shah, chief minister of Sindh, said: “Sindh has an insatiable appetite for growth and expansion. The primary objective of today’s gathering is to explore further business opportunities between businesses in Sindh and the UAE, inviting investors, attracting FDI and showcasing Sindh in its entirety and unique tourism potential.”

The event also saw the signing of six MoUs that include both Pakistan’s public and private sectors, and will boost business activities, collaborations, and support the startup ecosystem in Pakistan. The MoUs included funding the startups between Sindh Enterprise Development Fund and Pakistan Business Council Dubai; as well as investment facilitation between Sindh Investment Department and Pakistan Business Council.

Ahmed Shaikhani, president of the Pakistan Business Council, said that he was delighted with the success of the event, and revealed plans for three more events of a similar nature that would be dedicated to the KPK region, the Gilgit Baltistan region in Pakistan, and another on the federal government of the country. He also explained that every month at the Pakistan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is dedicated to a different province, with December being dedicated to showcasing the potential of the Sindh province.

He further revealed that one of the MoUs being signed at the event will serve to strengthen the partnership between the government of the Sindh province and the Pakistan Business Council in Dubai. “It will be dedicated to investment and bilateral trade relations. We will give an opportunity to potential investors to communicate their interest in Sindh. Another MoU being signed today is dedicated to technology startups. We also have a series of webinars that will give technology startups the opportunity to showcase their offerings to potential investors from around the world.”

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