LAHORE: In a bid to promote trade, the Korean Embassy in Pakistan and Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have agreed to boost relations through joint ventures.
This decision was reached during a meeting of Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Song Jong-Hwan and LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad.
Pakistan and Korea trade bodies sign MoU
The Korean ambassador said that trade and business cooperation between the two countries should be enhanced as they both carry significant economic potential for each other.
Jong-Hwan said that Pakistan offers plenty of opportunity. “Doing business in a country like Pakistan is always very profitable.”
He said that although Korea is the 15th largest trading partner of Pakistan at present, with trade touching $1.6 billion in 2012, this has significantly decreased by 27% to $1.17 billion in 2014.
Absence of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Korea and Pakistan, non-availability of trade related proper information, lack of understanding about most promising areas of cooperation are the main possible reasons of this decline.
Korean envoy concerned over 27% decline in trade
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that Korea is an important trading partner of Pakistan. “South Korea is the second largest export destination of Pakistan in East Asia after China.”
He said that the total volume of trade between Pakistan and Korea was around $1.26 billion in 2013 but in the following year, it came down.
Arshad added that imports dropped from $859 million to $658 million. “Likewise, Pakistan’s exports also fell from $397 million to $378 million in the same period.”
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However, Arshad was optimistic about the future stating that the way Korean companies are entering the Pakistani market, the day is not far when Korea will be providing the highest foreign direct investment.
He said that Korea has already declared Pakistan as a priority destination for investment. “The success of leading Korean business groups in Pakistan like Daewoo, Samsung, LG and Hyundai etc. can serve as a strong reference to other Korean companies to invest here.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2015.
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