Korean investors eye Pakistan’s energy, tech sectors

Ambassador urges businessmen to find new avenues of trade


Our Correspondent May 24, 2022
Pakistan has inked Preferential Trade Agreements with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan which will provide it access to huge market of 72 million people. PHOTO: FILE

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KARACHI:

South Korea is looking forward to strengthening bilateral relations with Pakistan and supporting the conduct of business-to-business (B2B) meetings, said Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Suh Sangpyo.

During a meeting with members of the Pakistan-Korea Business Council of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Monday, Sangpyo urged the businessmen of both sides to find new avenues of trade with each other.

Calling Pakistan’s energy and IT sectors attractive for foreign investment, the envoy said that Korean investors had shown keen interest in Pakistan’s energy and technology sectors.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Salt Manufacturers Association of Pakistan Chairman Ismail Suttar said that in a meeting with the Korean consul general last week, he highlighted the great opportunity for export of Pakistani salt to Korea, which was a net importer of the commodity.

“There is almost zero production of salt in Korea, and Pakistan has a good chance for export. The consul general has promised to look into it and provide all possible help,” he added.

Many things could be learnt from the Koreans as they excelled in various economic fields, remarked Suttar.

Recalling the visit of a delegation in 2014 where it learnt the intellectual property rights (IPO), he said “they have a wonderful system; our delegation of industrial stalwarts as well as university professors learnt a lot”.

“Taking advantage of Korea’s expertise in the energy and IT sectors, Pakistan can overcome the energy shortfall and also export its IT services to put the economy on a rapid growth path,” the envoy added.

He praised the Pakistan-Korea Business Council for promoting bilateral trade between the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan-Korea Business Council Chairman Sohail Nisar said that Korea, the world’s ninth-largest economy, was a reliable and strong partner of Pakistan.

He highlighted that Korea wanted to invest at least $1 billion in Pakistan. “If both sides work according to their real potential to boost bilateral trade, the economies of Pakistan and Korea will reap tremendous benefits.”

He underlined that Korea wanted to set up about 50 small-scale units and form joint ventures with Pakistan, and was also interested in manufacturing electric motorbikes, rickshaws and cars.

“Korea wants to import $300-400 worth of IT services from Pakistan, which will boost Pakistan’s exports,” he added.

Nisar called for inking a free trade agreement between Pakistan and Korea. “Korea has a market of 20,000 tons of fruits, and the government should allow and facilitate mango exports to Korea; vegetables and frozen fruits have also great demand in Korea.”

Arif Habib Commodities CEO Ahsan Mehanti told The Express Tribune that South Korea was actively seeking trade with Pakistan.

“Pakistan needs investment in automobile and heavy industrial products to meet domestic demand and earn through exports. Also, exports of agri-products and IT services can help Pakistan stabilise the falling rupee,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2022.

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