South African HC, Lahore Chamber Join Hands To Boost Trade


South African HC, Lahore Chamber join hands to boost trade

LAHORE, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Feb, 2021 ) :High Commission of South Africa and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) would make joint efforts to build meaningful partnership between private sectors of the two countries and to further cement mutual trade and economic ties.

It was agreed at a meeting between the High Commissioner of South Africa Mthuthuzeli Madikiza and LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah at LCCI on Wednesday. LCCI Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, former EC Members Zafar Mahmood and Nabila Intisar were also present.

The High Commissioner said that exchange of trade-related information would help boost trade between the two countries. He invited the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry to participate in the virtual conference being held soon. He said that South African businessmen were well aware of the investment opportunities existed in various sectors of economy in Pakistan.

He said that there were many sectors that could be focused for trade enhancement. He said that Pakistan could certainly benefit from the South African expertise.

The South African High Commissioner said the role of Lahore Chamber was important in attaining the objectives of improving the bilateral trade and to increase investment opportunities.

LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that there were good working relations between LCCI and High Commission of South Africa. He said, "Wenever a trade delegation has been planned at LCCI to visit South Africa, we always got support from the High Commission of South Africa." He said that after COVID-19, situation was coming to the normal gradually therefore, business activities between the two countries should also be accelerated.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that the exports of Pakistan to South Africa were almost static for the last three years while both the countries were majorly trading in raw materials or intermediate goods.

He said that there was a huge scope for cooperation in pharmaceutical, food processing, rice, engineering and agriculture sectors.

He said that Pakistan was keen to have latest technologies and techniques in agriculture sector.

He said the value of exports to South Africa was around 172 million Dollars in 2017 which increased to 179 million dollars in 2018 and remained unchanged in 2019. Pakistan's exports to South Africa consisted of bed linen, woven fabrics, rice, paper & paperboard and articles of apparels etc.

The LCCI President said that for the last few years, the imports from South Africa were ranging well over a billion dollars. In 2018, the total worth of Pakistan's imports was 1.24 billion dollars which slightly came down to 1.18 billion dollars in 2019. Pakistan's imports from South Africa mainly included coal, ferrous waste of iron & steel and cotton etc.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that Pakistan was known for rice, surgical instruments and sports goods around the globe. Pakistan had also made great advancement in pharmaceutical sector in the last couple of decades.

In these areas, the share of Pakistan in imports of South Africa was negligible.

"In 2019, the value of rice imported by South Africa was 450 million dollars and Pakistan's share was merely 9 million dollars. The pharmaceutical imports of South Africa were 2.39 billion dollars and Pakistan could only fetch the share of 1.3 million dollars", the LCCI President added.

He said the imports of surgical instruments made by South Africa were around 546 million dollars and the share of Pakistan was just six million dollars. The sports goods imported by South Africa were worth 126 million dollars, and the share of Pakistan was just 4 million dollars.

The LCCI President said that Pakistani businessmen were keen to explore South African market and the role of South African High Commission was crucial in this regard.

He added that the continent of Africa offered a huge market to Pakistani businessmen for enhancing tradeand investment. South Africa being the most modern and leading country of Africa could become trading hubfor Pakistan.