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June 26, 2019

Stable Pakistan imperative for sustainable peace in region: UAE envoy


June 26, 2019

FAISALABAD: Legal frame work will be finalised to strengthen economic relations between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission of Pakistan and the UAE scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi, said UAE Ambassador Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi.

Addressing the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) here, he said that both brotherly Islamic countries shared common perceptions on global and regional issues. “They have also been enjoying cordial relations since their inception”, he told and added that UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan regularly visited Pakistan for hunting.

He further said that 1.7 million expatriate Pakistanis were playing their role in the overall economy of the UAE. He expressed satisfaction over his relations with the new Pakistani government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said that the UAE had strong belief that a stable Pakistan was imperative for sustainable peace in the region.

Regarding a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission of Pakistan and the UAE, the ambassador said that Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi would chair it in which legal fame work to promote and protect foreign investment would be finalised in addition to launching new projects in different areas.

He said that the UAE businessmen were keen to invest in Pakistan, but they were waiting for finalisation of legal frame work for foreign investment. He further said that trade delegations from the UAE were regularly visiting Pakistan, but their visits remained restricted to the federal or provincial metropolises. However, he would try to arrange their visit to Faisalabad and other emerging industrial centres of Pakistan, he added.

About his three-day visit to Faisalabad, the ambassador said that he would try to discover the industrial, commercial and business potential of Faisalabad so that he could convince the UAE investors to come and invest in this city. He also mentioned the investment of UAE in different sectors.

Responding to a question, he said that the UAE was streamlining its visa system and in this connection, the UAE visa centres would be opened in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to facilitate the Pakistani businessmen. He further told that a new strategy was being finalised and he would very soon inform the FCCI about its details.

To a question to start new direct flights for the UAE, the ambassador requested the questioner to ask this question from Pakistani officials. He, however, said that Faisalabad, Multan and Sialkot had potential to start new flights for the different destinations of the UAE.

Regarding export of fresh meat, fruits and vegetables from Pakistan, the UAE ambassador said that both countries had signed an agreement in this regard.

Earlier, in his welcome address, FCCI president Syed Zia Alamdar Hussain said that the trade body had been serving its members for the last 44 years. Although textile was the mainstay of its economy, yet other sectors were also contributing their humble role in the overall economic uplift of Pakistan. He further told that Faisalabad was contributing 45pc share in the total textile export of Pakistan.

Regarding trade balance between Pakistan and the UAE, the FCCI president that the UAE exports were 8.6 billion dollars while its imports from Pakistan were only 1.96 billion dollars. Continuing, he said that Pakistan was an agriculture country and we could easily export fresh meat, fruits and vegetables to the UAE on regular basis. He, however, floated a proposal for the processing of meat, milk and other food items in collaboration with the UAE investors. He also proposed import of crude oil from the UAE and establishment of an oil refinery at Gwadar with the collaboration of the UAE. He said that one of its byproducts was naphtha cracker, which could be used for manufacturing dyes and chemicals. He said that Pakistan was currently importing dyes and chemical worth 5 to 10 billion dollars from China, which could be manufactured within the country after the establishment of the oil refinery.

Documentaries on the FCCI and the Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) were also screened. A question answer session was held which was participated by Chaudhry Muhammad Nawaz, Chaudhry Muhammad Boota, Inam Afzal Khan, Khawaja Amjad, Ikram Khan, Mehwish Nazish and Amir Saleemi while FCCI former president Muzamil Sultan offered vote of thanks.

Later, businessman Khawaja Amjad and Faisalabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FWCCI) president Robina Amjad along with FCCI president Syed Zia Alamdar Hussain presented the FCCI shield to the UAE ambassador.

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