Bilateral trade: Faisalabad under the radar of investors

Brunei High Commissioner interested to enhance bilateral trade, diversify exports

Imran Rana March 29, 2016
Brunei High Commissioner interested to enhance bilateral trade, diversify exports. PHOTO: FCCI WEBSITE

FAISALABAD: The economic potential of Pakistan and Brunei will be reassessed to attract investors from Brunei and make the textile sector of Faisalabad more attractive and profitable for them, said Brunei Darussalam High Commissioner Dato Mahmud Saidin.

During his address to businessmen and industrialists the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he said Brunei was a very small country and its economy depended on oil and gas. About 70% area of Brunei consisted of forests and the remaining was utilised for agriculture and industry.

“The area is insufficient to fulfil the country’s food requirements and hence we have to import food items from neighbouring ASEAN countries,” he said. “We import basmati rice and mangoes from Pakistan, which are very popular in Brunei.”

Saidin identified “heavy expenditures on transportation” as the main reason for low trade volume between the two countries and said the only objective of his visit was to explore opportunities for the enhancement of bilateral trade between the two countries.

He said the Pak-Brunei Investment Company in Karachi was making efforts to promote trade.

“The Brunei Investment Agency is working on diversification of its exports and has been investing in real estate and the hotel industry in various countries. It will assess Pakistan’s economic potential as well to explore opportunities.”

Concerning textiles, he said it was necessary to make local textile products competitive compared to similar products from China and Bangladesh.

The High Commissioner also paid a visit to the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) and stated that his country intended enhancing productivity of its rice crop without bringing more land under plough.

Earlier, in his welcome address, FCCI Senior Vice President Syed Zia Alamdar Hussain said that CPEC had turned Pakistan into a land of opportunities and investors from Brunei should also take advantage of it.

He said FCCI was the third largest chamber in Pakistan and contributed more than 50% towards total textile exports of the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th,  2016.

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