President calls for realizing full trade potential with Greece


President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday urged Pakistan’s newly appointed ambassador to Greece to play his role for promoting trade and economic ties between the two countries and making efforts to expand bilateral trade to its true potential.

The president, talking to Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to the Hellenic Republic (Greece) Muhammad Aamir Aftab Qureshi, said that in addition to working on traditional areas of trade and economic cooperation, new areas of cooperation should also be identified.

He said that developing close linkages between the chambers of commerce of Pakistan and Greece would help in promoting bilateral trade and investment, which currently stood at USD 101 million during 2021 but had the potential to be substantially increased with cogent and targeted efforts.

The president said that the ambassador-designate should benchmark the best tourism practices of Greece, being one of the top tourism destinations, and try to create linkages between Greece and Pakistan’s tourist industries.

He called for projecting Pakistan as an attractive tourist destination for Greek tourists and expressed satisfaction that Greek mountaineers, hikers and travel bloggers visited Pakistan regularly.

The president advised the ambassador-designate to keep regular contact with the Pakistani community in Greece and resolve their issues and problems regarding consular services.

He also emphasised creating close linkages with the NADRA and passport office in Pakistan and help the community in resolving their concerns about the consular services.

He commented that the developed countries were currently spending billions of dollars to stop and curb non-formal immigration from less developed countries.

“Instead, efforts should be targeted to create peace in the conflict zones and help the least developed countries improve financially and economically, which will create enabling conditions, jobs, and minimise formal immigration attempts”, he stated.

President Alvi said that Pakistan and the European Union’s Dialogue on Migration and Mobility was expected to open new avenues of legal migration from Pakistan to the EU countries. He said that Greece’s IT industry could benefit from the country’s IT-skilled youth by creating online linkages and the export of manpower through formal channels.

The president said that efforts should also be made to improve the perception of Pakistan in Greece by promoting Pakistan’s hospitality, which has hosted four million Afghan refugees for 40 years, and its excellent treatment of the minorities, which were living peacefully in Pakistan.