Pak-Spain bilateral trade to reach $ 1b this year: Spanish Envoy
Ambassador of Spain to Pakistan, Carlos Morales has said that the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Spain was on rise and the two-way trade was expected to reach US$ 1 billion mark during this year. The bilateral trade between two was on the rise especially after the grant of EU's GSP Plus status to Pakistan, as it improved 43% during 2014 and 25% during 2015%.
However, he said there was lot more potential to enhance it for which every Pakistani has to play role for image building of the country. During a recent interaction with business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said both countries should focus on diversification to improve trade and identified IT as another potential area of mutual cooperation.
He said ICCI should take a sector-specific business delegation to Spain and assured that his Embassy would cooperate to make its visit successful. The Ambassador said that Spain was the seventh largest trading partner of Pakistan in the European Union and it wanted to further enhance trade with it as both countries have good potential to improve bilateral trade and economic
relations. He said Pakistan has all the positive things including young population, big consumers market and natural resources to attract foreign investors but biased and wrong perception of the country in outside world was the major hurdle in realizing its full economic potential.
The Ambassador said about 500 Spanish companies were doing business in UAE and many were taking interest in Iran and India. However, he said Pakistani business community should reach out to the outside world to show the potential of their products that would help in attracting more investment and promoting trade. He said that $ 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a highly positive development as it has generated lot of interest in foreign investors to look at Pakistan with more interest.
President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( ICCI), Atif Ikram Sheikh said that Pakistan and Spain enjoyed cordial relations since 1951, but the dedicated efforts were required from both sides to further improve two-way trade.
He said Pakistan's major exports to Spain included some textiles products while Pakistan's major imports from Spain included all sorts of machinery & parts, chemical materials & products, iron and steel etc. which showed that bilateral trade was confined to few items and stressed for focusing on areas to further promote bilateral trade.
He said Pakistan's leather products, surgical instruments, sports goods, fruits and many other products could provide good value for money to Spanish customers. Similarly, Spain could exports its quality machinery and latest technology to Pakistan in many areas.
He said Spain was strong in tourism and it could help Pakistan in further developing its tourism industry. He said frequent exchange of trade delegations and organizing single country exhibitions should be encouraged to promote trade and economic relations up to real potential.