Portugal wants enhanced trade with Pakistan: Dr Joao Paulo


ISLAMABAD: Embassy of Portugal Charge d’Affairs Dr Joao Paulo Marques Sabido Costa on Thursday said that his country wanted to enhance trade with Pakistan since the two countries have a good potential to improve bilateral trade in many areas

He said that Pakistan and Portugal should exchange trade delegations and promote business-to-business linkages to know each other and explore new areas of mutual cooperation.

Dr Costa was addressing the business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

The Portuguese envoy said that being a hi-tech country, Portugal was ready to provide technology and machinery to Pakistan in many sectors including agriculture, textile, marble, water resources, building and constructions.

He said that Portugal was close to the European Union (EU) and Sub-Sahara and Pakistan should develop close cooperation with it to get better market access to European and African regions. He said that Pakistani basmati rice and food were quite popular in Portugal, and Pakistan should focus on exporting more products to Portuguese market under the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) Plus scheme.

The charge d’affairs also said that his country has offered a “golden visa programme” to attract investments in real estate sector and Pakistani investors should take benefit of this program. He said that Portugal has PTAs with many countries and by investing in Portugal, Pakistani investors can promote exports to Europe, Africa, Canada and other regions. He said that ICCI should form a delegation for Portugal to explore new business opportunities.

Speaking at the occasion, ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said that the present trade volume between Pakistan and Portugal was not encouraging and stressed that both countries should promote strong connectivity between private sectors to identify untapped areas of mutual cooperation. He said that Portugal should increase its import of Pakistani products including textiles, garments, surgical instruments, sports goods, leather products, fruits, vegetables and other products to extend full benefits of GSP Plus to Pakistan.

He said that Portugal had good expertise in energy generation through renewable sources and it should cooperate with Pakistan in easing its energy problems. He said that both countries have good potential to exchange expertise in the fields of education, science and information technology as well as the tourism industry, which can lead to the strengthening of bilateral relations. He said that Portugal was quite advanced in technology and it should cooperate with Pakistan to manufacture value-added and hi-tech products.

ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed and ICCI Vice President Nisar Mirza stressed the importance of frequent exchange of trade delegations to identify new areas for bilateral cooperation. They said that Portuguese investors should visit Pakistan to explore joint ventures, investments in CPEC and in other sectors of Pakistan’s economy.

Baser Daud, Tahir Ayub, Rashid Humayun and others also spoke at the occasion.