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Pakistan’s exports to Morocco up 81 percent in first quarter

By our correspondents
December 28, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's exports to Morocco registered an increase of 81 percent in July/October 2016 period as compared to the corresponding period of the last year, a report issued by the State Bank of Pakistan said.

This was the highest increase in exports to any country this year at a time when the country’s overall exports are declining. Although the report does not mention the sectors that have shown improvement, it was widely believed that efforts of Pakistan’s Ambassador to Morocco Nadir Chaudhri to diversify exports from traditional sectors have borne fruit.

Talking to APP from Rabat, Chaudhri said that it was the directives and guidance of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that had led to increase in exports. "Our mission has gone to every corner of Morocco for highlighting our products by holding trade and business road shows in every major city and I regularly meet and brief all the chambers of commerce and top importers and business leaders," he added.

Morocco is an important country for Pakistani exporters, as it is the gateway to Africa, particularly West Africa and these markets are full of potential. Africa is being called the new Asia and by 2050 the population of this continent will reach four billion; therefore, Pakistan cannot ignore Africa anymore, he added.

The ambassador said he had proposed to the government to hold a Pakistan-Africa Summit in Islamabad in 2017. This is all the more relevant in the backdrop of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he added.

Chaudhri expressed the hope that the long-delayed Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) meeting between Pakistan and Morocco would be held soon after the formation of the new government in Rabat (Morocco).

"We have a long agenda of turning memorandums of understanding (MoUs) into agreements and negotiating easier term for our exporters." "High-level bilateral visits are also expected in 2017 and all of this would place our bilateral relations with Morocco in a much higher orbit," he added.