Malaysia urged to expand imports of Pak products | Pakistan Today

Malaysia urged to expand imports of Pak products

Pakistan and Malaysia on Monday have agreed to enhance bilateral economic cooperation and explore avenues for joint ventures in a host of sectors, including the agriculture, construction and Halal food industry.
Meeting highlights pertinent issues:
The understanding to ‘tap full potential of bilateral economic relations’ was reached at the first ever meeting of the Pakistan Malaysia Joint Committee on Review of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
The meeting, which was co-chaired by Government of Pakistan Secretary Commerce Zafar Mahmood and Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Secretary General Datuk Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, undertook a comprehensive review of the performance of the FTA with special focus on customs procedures, concessions under trade in goods and services, preferential treatment to products. It also discusses the issues relating to establishment of sub-committees for trade and goods, investment and services.
FTA enhances bilateral trade:
Both sides noted a significant enhancement in bilateral trade after the FTA became operational in 2008. The Pakistani side underscored the need for reducing its trade deficit and identified a number of areas, including livestock, food processing, construction and Halal food industry with considerable potential for further collaboration. Both sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the Joint Review Committee in Islamabad next year.
Later, the Pakistani delegation led by Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood held separate meetings with Datuk Seri Mustapa Bin Mohamad, Minister for International Trade and Industry, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Minister for Plantation, Industries and Commodities, and Dato’ Mah Siew Keong, Chairman of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) to discuss ways for furthering bilateral economic relations. High Commissioner for Pakistan in Malaysia, Masood Khalid and Commercial Counsellor Wajiullah Kundi were also present.
Inviting Malaysian businessmen:
Secretary Commerce Zafar Mahmood emphasised the need to broaden the import base of Pakistani products as the country was in a strong position to export a larger amount of rice, fruits and vegetables to meet demand in the Malaysian market.
He urged Malaysian businessmen to explore the vast Pakistani market and initiate joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts. He also invited Malaysian businessmen to attend the forthcoming Expo Pakistan 2011 to have a first-hand look at Pakistani products and business opportunities available in the country. During the meetings, both sides agreed on enhancing cooperation in the agriculture and Halal food sector by educating and encouraging private sectors of both countries to leverage the FTA for exploring long term and sustainable trade and investment ventures. It was noted that there was a need to promote business-to-business interactions for tapping the full potential of bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries.

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