Pakistan should focus on African markets to boost exports: PBIF

Islamabad—President, Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday demanded the government to discover new markets like Africa to improve exports. “A double-digit fall in the exports has raised many concerns while necessitated serious efforts to find new market like Africa,” he said in a statement issued here. He said, the Government should facilitate to open a direct channel of communication and cooperation between Pakistan and businessmen from Africa which is the second largest continent in the world with 54 sovereign states and a collective GDP of $2.3 trillion, he added.
Zahid said, the government and private sector can focus on landlocked African countries like Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Uganda with rich population base of around 200 million people. He said, the Government should develop a plan to identify mutual partners from landlocked countries and countries with a seaport as India, China and other countries continue to expand their presence in Africa. Some countries can act as a Gateway for Pakistani exports towards the landlocked nations irrespective of their own size and perceived economic importance, he added.
He said that all embassies of Pakistan may open a display centres in their premises for exhibit exportable products suiting their peculiar region duly supported by samples and particulars of point of contacts both from Government sector but essentially of private sector being the main stakeholder. Veteran business leader said that private sector will have to play the predominant role to change the existing status quo in order to get into these new markets for their finished goods, he said, adding that we need to pay real attention to African markets to enhance our exports.
The Former Provincial Minister said, the government and private sectors should get benefit from the valuable experience of Ambassador of Pakistan to Libya, Togo and Burkina-Faso Lt. Gen (Retd) Javed Zia and he should be supported to boost exports through various initiatives. It may be mentioned that despite its economic growth rate of more than four per cent, Africa still accounts for about only two percent of global trade.—APP

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