FAISALABAD: “There is huge trade potential between Argentina and Pakistan,” Rodolfo Martin Saravia, the Argentinean ambassador in Pakistan said on Sunday.
He was speaking at a meeting with the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry members.
The ambassador said that Pakistan and Argentina should launch joint ventures in agriculture, livestock and dairy development, halal meat and pharmaceuticals.
He said that Pakistani businessmen should go for diversification for other sectors and explore new avenues of trade instead of confining themselves to traditional exports.
He said Pakistan had great potential for halal meat production, milk and textile sectors and could enhance its exports though technology development and upgrade.
He said the Argentinean government would be more than happy to provide technological assistance. He said the chambers of commerce in both countries could play a major role in promotion of trade between the two countries.
Earlier in his address of welcome, FCCI president Suhail bin Rashid said that Pakistani businessmen attached great importance to trade relations with Argentina. He said the two countries had well established trade links, a joint economic committee and the Pak-Argentina Business Council were functional.
He said the bilateral trade in 2012 stood at $124.88 million. Argentina had exported $79 million worth of goods to Pakistan. Pakistan’s exports stood at $45.88 million.
Talking about the impact of Pakistan–Mercosur Framework Agreement on trade signed between the two countries in 2006, Rashid said there had been a four per cent per annum growth in trade between 2008 and 2012 with Argentina. This needed to improve, he said.
He said the signing of the agreement had initiated the process of negotiations between Pakistan and Mercosur to conclude a preferential trade agreement that now needed to be stepped up.
He proposed that a memorandum of understanding be signed between the Argentinean embassy’s commercial section and the FCCI to mobilise and reciprocate trade activities.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th,2013.