Karachi-based diplomats have underscored the need to improve the perception about Pakistan in order to attract maximum number of foreign investors who will certainly be interested in massive investment opportunities available in Pakistan, particularly Karachi.
Exchanging views at a Breakfast Meeting hosted by Karachi Chamber in a local hotel, they added that Foreign Investors from their respective countries were keen to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan but the negative perception, excessive paper-work and red-tapism were hindering FDI in the country. They also advised the business and industrial community of Karachi to focus on diversifying their exports as staying confined mostly to textile exports would not yield the desired results.
Senior Commercial Officer of United States Steve Knode, Consul General of Switzerland Philippe Crevoisier, Consul General of Turkey Tolga Ucak, Vice Consul of Consulate General of Germany Ingolf Vogel, Commercial Attaché of Turkish Consulate Murat Mustu, President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, Senior Vice President Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Vice President Rehan Hanif, Chairman of Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Sub-Committee Sohail Amin, Chairman Special Committee for My Karachi Exhibition Muhammad Idrees, Former Presidents Haroon Agar & Iftikhar Vohra along with Managing Committee members attended the breakfast meeting.
Senior Commercial Officer of United States Steve Knode, while commenting on strong trade ties between Pakistan and United States, said that the trade ties between the two countries have been improving and today, the trade volume stands at all-time high. “I have seen lot of positive things and I will encourage US companies to take benefit of prospective opportunities in Pakistan”, he added.
He informed that the United States has changed its global Travel Alert System in which countries around the world have been placed at different levels keeping in view their security situation. Pakistan was currently at Level 3 whereas some areas in the country were at Level 4 due to security concerns. “Level 1 means that the country or area is completely safe to travel”, he explained and hoped that Pakistan’s current level improves further in the US Travel Alert System.
Knode also extended full support and cooperation to KCCI’s delegation visit to United States this year by facilitating B2B meetings and other meetings with the officials at Department of Commerce and Pakistan Chamber of Commerce USA.
He also invited Karachi Chamber to participate in Select USA Investment Summit that is scheduled to be held in the US from 20th June to 22nd, 2018 which would help them in exploring investment opportunities in United States and provide a good platform to explore new business opportunities by interacting with global participants.
Consul General of Switzerland Philippe Crevoisier advised KCCI to hold maximum interaction with their counterparts in Switzerland in order to improve the existing trade and investment ties between the two countries.
Although potential exists but efforts must be made to improve the perception and image of Pakistan so that the potential could be transformed into a success story, he added.
Consul General of Turkey Tolga Ucak said that the business communities of Pakistan and Turkey must seek ways and means of enhancing trade and investment cooperation.
It is time to shift focus from enhancing trade only to encouraging investments as well in both the countries through joint ventures, he added. Vice Consul of Consulate General of Germany Vogel Ingolf, in his remarks, pointed out that Germany holds many trade and investment exhibitions throughout the year hence, the business and industrial community of Karachi Chamber should attend these exhibitions which would surely bring the business communities more close to each other.
In his remarks, President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, while referring to Pakistan’s existing trade ties with US, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey, stressed the need to exchange more trade delegations between the two countries in order to further improve the existing trade relations.
In this regard, the Karachi Chamber plans to send its delegations to United States and European Union countries in the second half of current calendar year to look for more trade and investment opportunities, he informed while requesting the Diplomats to facilitate KCCI delegation’s visit by arranging maximum number of B2B meetings with the Business and Industrial Communities in their respective countries.
He informed the Diplomats that Karachi, which is the economic hub of Pakistan, offers profitable investment opportunities and added facilities for investment and joint ventures to Foreign Investors.
Referring to two Special Economic Zones being established on priority in Karachi under CPEC project, he stressed the foreign investors should take interest in these economic zones where they can enjoy tax holiday for up to 10 years which is phenomenal, along with many other benefits, particularly the One-Window Operation Facility.
“CPEC is a game changer project which will lead to improved regional economic integration and transform Pakistan into a Central and South Asian economic hub”, Muffasar Malik said, “Foreign investors have started showing keen interest in Pakistan and I am confident that CPEC will bring in a paradigm shift in the business and industrial scenario of the entire region, hence foreign investors must also take advantage of the situation by either investing or undertaking joint ventures in CPEC-related projects.”
He also invited foreign companies to participate in 15th My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony exhibition scheduled to be organized at Karachi Expo Center from 20th to 22nd April 2018 which would provide an excellent opportunity to foreign businessmen and industrialists to showcase their products and create strong linkages with the business community of Karachi by holding B2B meetings in a cordial atmosphere. “As My Karachi Exhibition has successfully attained its prime objective of promoting the positive image of Karachi, this year the thrust would be less on the image-building and more on promoting trade and investment opportunities in the city”, he added.