LAHORE: While agreeing to work on a roadmap for promoting economic cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, the embassy of the UAE has stressed that it will join hands with businessmen in Pakistan to explore new sectors for deepening economic relations.
Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday, UAE Ambassador to Pakistan Essa Abdulla Al Basha Al-Noaimi said a new strategy would specifically focus on exchange of trade delegations, participation in each other’s fairs and exhibitions, protection to foreign investment and timely dissemination of trade-related information.
Underscoring the need for promotion of people-to-people contacts, the ambassador hoped that this would help strengthen cooperation between the two sides.
Noaimi underlined UAE’s commitment to consolidate the economic ties and said bilateral trade and investments in Pakistan reached $23 billion in banking, real estate, energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, ports, housing and aviation.
The two sides are also taking interest in holding international exhibitions and joint investments in both countries for the development of economy. UAE was the first country, which organised a conference, in Dubai in March 2010, to promote investment in Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar voiced concern over the fast declining UAE investment in Pakistan and sought the ambassador’s help to overcome the phenomenon.
Pakistan has been experiencing trouble in attracting foreign investment for the past many years. In 2006-07, foreign direct investment (FDI) peaked at $8.1 billion, but since then it has been falling and has now dropped below $1 billion. In 2006-07, FDI from the UAE stood at $661 million, but now it has gone below $50 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2012.