Pak-Tu­nisia pref­er­en­tial trade agree­ment to be singed this year: En­voy

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Am­bas­sador of the Re­pub­lic of Tu­nisia, Adel Elarbi on Mon­day hoped that Pak-Tu­nisia pref­er­en­tial trade agree­ment would be signed this year, which would help in en­hanc­ing bi­lat­eral trade be­tween the two coun­tries.

He iden­ti­fied agri­cul­ture, tex­tiles, elec­tron­ics, tourism and ser­vices as other po­ten­tial ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries. He ex­pressed th­ese views dur­ing an in­ter­ac­tion with busi­ness com­mu­nity at Is­lam­abad Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (ICCI) here. The Am­bas­sador said that his coun­try was in­ter­ested to en­hance bi­lat­eral trade re­la­tions with Pak­istan as in­creased mu­tual trade co­op­er­a­tion was highly ben­e­fi­cial for both coun­tries.

He said Pak­istan could get bet­ter ac­cess to the world's largest mar­kets like Europe, North Africa and Middle East by pro­mot­ing co­op­er­a­tion with Tu­nisia while Tu­nisia could get ac­cess to Asia by en­hanc­ing co­op­er­a­tion with Pak­istan.

Adel Elarbi said Tu­nisia was one of the ma­jor ex­porters of high qual­ity and healthy olive oil at com­pet­i­tive rates and Pak­istani olive oil im­porters should avail this op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote their busi­ness.

He said 80% trade of Tu­nisia was with Europe and Pak­istani in­vestors should ex­plore op­por­tu­ni­ties of in­vest­ment and joint ven­tures in Tu­nisia to pro­mote their ex­ports to Euro­pean and North African mar­kets. He as­sured that he would try to get some spe­cial treat­ment for Pak­istani busi­ness­men in visa cases so that they could eas­ily visit Tu­nisia to ex­plore busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Pres­i­dent, ICCI, Atif Ikram Sheikh said that PakTu­nisia bi­lat­eral trade dur­ing 2014-15 was just US$ 33.08 mil­lion and hec­tic ef­forts from both sides were needed to make sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in two-way trade. He said both coun­tries should en­cour­age fre­quent ex­change of trade del­e­ga­tions and or­ga­nize sin­gle coun­try ex­hi­bi­tions on re­cip­ro­cal ba­sis to in­crease bi­lat­eral trade vol­ume.

The Pres­i­dent, ICCI, said Pak­istan could ex­port rice, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal, sur­gi­cal, leather, sports and many other prod­ucts to Tu­nisia. He said there was good scope for ex­port of fab­rics from Pak­istan which af­ter value ad­di­tion in Tu­nisia could be ex­ported to Euro­pean and other coun­tries.

He said both coun­tries should sign PTA lead­ing to free trade agree­ment that would bring lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­ness­men of both coun­tries to im­prove bi­lat­eral trade. Sheikh Ab­dul Wa­heed, Vice Pres­i­dent ICCI also of­fered many sug­ges­tions for im­prov­ing bi­lat­eral trade and eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween Pak­istan and Tu­nisia. It was dis­cussed that ICCI would con­sider tak­ing a busi­ness del­e­ga­tion to Tu­nisia to ex­plore un­tapped ar­eas of mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion.

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