FTA be­tween Pak­istan, Thai­land likely to be con­cluded by 2016

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Consul Gen­eral of Thai­land in Karachi, Suwat Kaew Sook has said that Free Trade Agree­ment (FTA) be­tween Pak­istan and Thai­land was likely to be con­cluded by end of 2016 which would fa­cil­i­tate trade and help in fur­ther­ing the ex­ist­ing trade ties be­tween the two coun­tries.

Ex­chang­ing views with KCCI Of­fice Bear­ers and Man­ag­ing Com­mit­tee mem­bers dur­ing his visit to KCCI, Thai Consul Gen­eral said that the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties of Pak­istan and Thai­land will come more close to each other par­tic­u­larly af­ter sign­ing of the FTA. "We want to do busi­ness and co­op­er­ate with you as there is a lot of room for im­prov­ing the ex­ist­ing trade vol­ume which is now above US$1 bil­lion", he added.

Pres­i­dent KCCI Younus Muham­mad Bashir, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice Pres­i­dent KCCI Muham­mad Naeem Sharif, Chair­man of Diplo­matic Mis­sion & Em­bassies Li­ai­son Sub-Com­mit­tee KCCI Muham­mad Ibrahim Ka­sumbi, Trade Ad­vi­sor of Thai Con­sulate Arif Suleman and KCCI Man­ag­ing Com­mit­tee mem­bers were also present at the meet­ing.

Thai Consul Gen­eral said that Thai­land and Pak­istan can co­op­er­ate in var­i­ous sec­tors of the econ­omy par­tic­u­larly in the agri­cul­ture and tourism sec­tors. He in­vited the busi­ness com­mu­nity of Karachi to ben­e­fit from the strate­gic lo­ca­tion of Thai­land which can act as bridge to ac­cess Burma, Viet­nam, Cam­bo­dia and many other coun­tries in the re­gion while the busi­ness com­mu­nity of Thai­land can also ben­e­fit from Pak­istan's strate­gic lo­ca­tion.

Ex­tend­ing full sup­port and co­op­er­a­tion to the busi­ness and in­dus­trial com­mu­nity of Karachi, he as­sured to fully fa­cil­i­tate the busi­ness­men and in­dus­tri­al­ists who were will­ing to visit Thai­land. "If any­one has been is­sues in ob­tain­ing Thai visas or any other is­sue, the same must be promptly con­veyed to us so that we could bring th­ese is­sues to the no­tice of Thai govern­ment with a view to get them re­solved", he added.

Un­der­scor­ing the need to pro­mote tourism by en­cour­ag­ing max­i­mum vis­its to both coun­tries, he said that last year a to­tal of 60,000 tourist visas were is­sued to Pak­ista­nis. To a sug­ges­tions with re­gards to pro­mot­ing Pak­istan's tourism sec­tor in Thai­land, he ad­mit­ted that not much Thai tourists were vis­it­ing Pak­istan but that does not mean that they were un­aware of tourists' sites in Pak­istan. It was prob­a­bly be­cause of the neg­a­tive per­cep­tion about the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion of Pak­istan which has been widely dis­persed by the western me­dia and this is­sue needs to be ad­dressed in or­der to at­tract Thai tourists.

He said that al­though the econ­omy of Thai­land wit­nessed a growth of 3 per­cent, which was low when com­pared with Pak­istan, but as com­pared to pre­vi­ous years, the 3 per­cent growth in­di­cates im­prove­ment and it is likely to im­prove fur­ther in fu­ture.

Ear­lier Pres­i­dent KCCI Younus Muham­mad Bashir, in his wel­come ad­dress, stated that Pak­istan and Thai­land main­tain sound bi­lat­eral trade re­la­tions. He said that there was great po­ten­tial to en­hance bi­lat­eral trade, in­vest­ment and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries. In this re­gard, the pre-fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies have al­ready been com­pleted by both sides. Pak-Thai trade vol­ume cur­rently stands at around $1 bil­lion which was aimed to be taken up to $2 bil­lion in the next five years, he added and ex­tended full sup­port and co­op­er­a­tion on be­half of the en­tire busi­ness and in­dus­trial com­mu­nity of Karachi to­wards en­hanc­ing trade and build­ing strong link­ages with the busi­ness and in­dus­trial com­mu­nity of Thai­land.

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