Pakistani rice and food products have massive export potential as a large segment of this industry is well-organised and meets international efficiency levels, said Hungarian Deputy State Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture David Bencsik.
During an online meeting with Pakistani rice exporters on Thursday, executives of Hungarian companies exhibited keen interest in importing high-quality rice from Pakistan. Representatives of Hungarian firms also shared plans to visit Pakistan and study its food sector for partnerships and investments in a bid to strengthen bilateral trade relations with Pakistani businessmen.
Their prime interest was the import of rice from Pakistan and they were eager to enter into joint ventures with the local counterparts.
Speaking on the occasion, Hungarian Ambassador to Pakistan Mohemmed Aejaz called it a prime time for both countries to enhance trade in agricultural products.
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The envoy appreciated Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s economic diplomacy, citing it was an essential part of Pakistan’s modern diplomatic practices.
“The government is now focusing on promoting economic diplomacy to attract foreign investment to make the country economically secure,” he said.
All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) President Syed Maaz Mahmood lauded Aejaz’s work and pointed out that several Hungarian companies had visited Pakistan due to his efforts. He recalled that officials of Hungarian firms held business-to-business meetings with their Pakistani counterparts for forming joint ventures in their respective sectors following the launch of Hungary-Pakistan Trade and Economic Window (HPTEW).
“HPTEW was launched to fully utilise the bilateral trade potential of Pakistan and Hungary, and give a boost to the current trade volume of $44.3 million,” he said.
He said that the European Union was Pakistan’s largest export market and accounted for over 30% of exports, however, Hungary’s share in total EU imports from Pakistan was less than 1%, which needed to be enhanced.
Discussing the issues faced by Pakistan’s agriculture sector, he underlined that the government needed to enhance research work to encourage technological innovations and modernisation of the farm sector.
He added that the industry had a massive potential to generate employment opportunities.
“Pakistan needs to move from traditional to modern agriculture to overcome its trade deficit and meet socio-economic targets,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2021.
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