ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has one of the finest quality coal and South Africa is ready to assist Pakistan in exploiting its coal reserves for power generation. South Africa has the expertise and modern technology to extract coal and it can help Pakistan in using its huge coal reserves for overcoming the ongoing energy crisis, said Kumalo Mpendulo, High Commissioner of South Africa in Pakistan while addressing the business community at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI). He was accompanied by the Deputy High Commissioner of South Africa.
Kumalo said Pakistan and South Africa have tremendous scope to improve trade and economic relations, deeming the current level of bilateral trade at $510 million to be insufficient.
President ICCI Zafar Bakhtawari said coal is an attractive area for cooperation and South Africa should share its expertise and technology with Pakistan for exploiting its coal reserves to produce cheap energy.
He said Pakistan also offers attractive investment opportunities, especially in energy and infrastructure development and South African investors should make more investment in Pakistan to earn good profits.
Kumalo said South Africa is rich in mineral and other natural resources and wishes to encourage Pakistani investors to set up manufacturing plants in South Africa. We offer many attractive incentives to investors, and more importantly South Africa is regarded as a gateway into Africa.
Kumalo invited an ICCI delegation to visit South Africa to explore new avenues of mutual cooperation.
He said South Africa also offers excellent transport facilities including ports and international airports for the exports of goods. The African continent is the second fastest growing region after Asia and Pakistani businessmen could achieve lucrative results by improving trade cooperation with South Africa.
Bakhtawari said that good friendly relations between South Africa and Pakistan should be translated into thriving trade and economic relations as bilateral trade is confined to very few items and needs to be diversified to take it beyond $1 billion by 2015.
He said Pakistan is also endowed with lots of natural resources and this is an area where both countries should strengthen cooperation for mutual benefit. He said close cooperation between the two countries would not only be beneficial for two nations, it would benefit the two regions as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2013.