Korea marks city as priority destination for investment: envoy

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Ambassador of Republic of Korea to Pakistan Jong Hwan Song has said that Korea marks Karachi as priority destination for its investment and businesses despite growing security concerns.

“Karachi, being the financial capital of Pakistan, contributes around 65 to 70 per cent to total national revenue whereas KCCI, being the largest chamber of the country, was playing a very important role in promoting trade and business ties with the rest of the world including Korea”, he added.

Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the Korean ambassador noted that prominent Korean companies such as Lotte PTA, Lotte Kolson, Hyundai Corporation and Ssangyong Engineering were stationed in Karachi and successfully doing business in this city.

Consul General of Korea in Karachi, Lee Chang-hee, Vice Chairman Businessmen Group and KCCI former president Anjum Nisar, KCCI Senior Vice President Mohammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, Vice President Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Counsellor & Economic Affairs of Korean Embassy, Park Bongsu, Director KOTRA Karachi Son Soo Youn, Economic Affairs Officer of Korean Embassy Baik Song Hye, Chairman Diplomatic Missions and Embassies’ Liaison Sub-Committee KCCI Muhammad Naeem Sharif and KCCI managing committee members attended the meeting.

Highlighting the existing trade ties between the two countries, the Korean ambassador pointed out that Korea-Pakistan trade volume had descended slightly to $1.34 billion in 2013 as compared to $1.6 billion in 2012. “Korea’s export to Pakistan decreased about 3 per cent while Pakistan’s export has declined 33 per cent which is a matter of concern for all of us”, he added.

Commenting on narrow trade base between the two countries, the ambassador underscored the need to broaden it by diversifying product lines of both countries through joint research based business forums, exchange of business delegations, and participation in each other’s exhibitions.

He informed that under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both governments, a private-level joint research for exploring the possibilities of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was also underway. The Korean envoy was fairly optimistic about the positive results of research which would pave way to improved trade volume in the years to come. “Such measures will help enhance trade relations which are far below the potential what we have or can have”, he added.