Building business together
For Pakistani businessmen, the UAE is an ideal hub to cater to the niche demands of the global clientele
Ahmed Shaikhani, President of Pakistan Business Council - Dubai Chapter - talks about the symbiotic relationship between the UAE and Pakistan in fostering better business ties
The UAE is one of Pakistan major economic and trading partners and the latter has always given paramount importance to the former. In his role as the President of PBC, Shakhani reiterates that since the establishment of the council in two decades ago, its objective has been to support and boost Pakistani business in Dubai, in particular, and the UAE, in general.
New role in the PBC
Commenting on his new role as the President of the PBC, Shakhani says that he is responsible to identify the issues related to business between the two nations, looking at the establishment of businesses in the UAE, as well as assess the amount of import and export of commodities between the two nation on a government as well as the private levels. He asserts that he is here to help the Pakistani community.
Managed by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the PBC fosters economic ties as well as operates with the aim to build a healthy business environment in the country. Talking about the effect of pandemic with regards to the economic scenario in Dubai, Shaikhani adds that PBC has extended all kinds of support to the community, not just with respect to business, but on a community level as well.
"During the pandemic, we communicated with Dubai Chamber of Commerce about all our members' issues and we were in constant communication between the parties regarding the business environment. Dubai Chamber of Commerce was instrumental in advising on the right suggestion and we implemented those across the businesses in the UAE. This gave the desired outcome and we managed to sail well."
Explaining further, he mentioned that PBC requested for relief as well as extension of commercial loan payments and low interest rates on behalf of the members. "We also facilitated the request for custom assistance for imports and exports so that the businesses do not suffer much." Adding on the same note, Shaikhani said that they also addressed concerns with regards to certain sectors with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.
Opportunities for Expo 2020
Talking about the completion of the Pakistan Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilion, which focusses on enhancing the country's tourism, commerce and investment opportunities, Shaikhani noted that the council is part of the expo team on behalf of the Pakistan Consulate. "We are constantly reviewing the pavilion works and are in touch with the government of Pakistan to address issues related to the world expo."
Delving further on the booming opportunities, the PBC President added that last year, the actual volume of trade in terms of import touched $4.47 billion (according to trendeconomy.com) between the two countries. "Right now, the largest import to Pakistan from the UAE is petroleum, closely followed by iron, medical and sports equipment. But there is a lot of improvement with regards to other sectors as well."
Emergence of new businesses this year
Shaikhani visited the Gulfood this year and was pleasantly surprised to witness around 53 new companies attending the event as exhibitors looking for new avenues in Dubai. "I believe that there is a good growth in interests for businesses to open shops in the emirate."
And PBC precisely wants to push for more opportunities in the country.
Vision for 2021
Discussion between the members and the council is paramount to the success of the PBC's role in Dubai. PBC is a strategic asset in bridging the gap between the UAE and Pakistan. However, in light of the current situation due to the pandemic, live meetings are not possible. Shaikhani revealed that the council is regularly conducting webinars in lines with the suggestions of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry to improve businesses as well as nurture new ones.
On this special day
On the occasion of Pakistan Resolution Day, Shaikhani wishes the Pakistani community and says: "Dubai is our second home. On March 23 as we celebrate the Resolution Day, we have to take care of this nation as we take care of our own country."
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