ISLAMABAD: Brazil creates broader avenues for the business community in Pakistan by announcing a five-year multiple entry visa policy said Additional Secretary for Americas for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Naghmana Hashmi while speaking with the Ambassador of Brazil to Pakistan Alfredo Leoni on Tuesday finalising the decision.
Although trade between the countries has increased more than 100% in the past four years, the change from the 90-day visa policy to five-year multiple entry will increase trade to its maximum potential.
Brazil, the 6th largest economy in the world, is also the largest commercial partner of Pakistan in Latin America. The balance of commerce between the two countries was close to $285 million in 2012. Major Brazilian exports to Pakistan include cotton, fuel pumps, plastic, steel, tobacco, and pulp while major Pakistani exports to Brazil include textile, surgical items, and footballs.
With the new agreement, the government aims to reach the target goal of $1billion per year. Helena Joranda, Head of Press and Commercial Sections for the Brazilian Embassy in Islamabad said, “There is no pressure from the government to meet the target, but both the governments are hopeful and ambitious enough to achieve it in the upcoming years.”
In a press conference on Tuesday in Islamabad, Ambassador Leoni said the same benefit will be offered to Brazilian businesspeople doing business in Pakistan.
The ambassador highlighted potential markets for bilateral trade, an extensive list that includes poultry meat, agriculture machinery, orange juice, tea, spices, coffee, auto parts, textiles, leather goods, granites, sports gear, fans and wood handicraft.
Importantly, the ambassador said that energy is also on the top of the list for Brazil. “We are hoping to succeed in Pakistan in this sector as it is a $2.5 trillion industry in Brazil,” he said. According to Leoni, major companies are being spoken to and dealings with the private sector are in the pipeline. “We are bringing representatives to Pakistan. Since it’s something new for them, it was essential to inform them how safe it is to come here. It is important to us to let people in Brazil know how profitable the market is over here.”
Ambassador Leoni also said that Brazil maintains strong political ties with Pakistan that continue to grow stronger with each passing year. He said that there were many experiences that Pakistanis can learn from Brazil. “The past three to four years we have made bilateral relations with Pakistan much broader in terms of diplomatic and political relations. We have to first promote more trade between the two, then cooperation in different fields can follow.” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.
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