He said given the size of economies of both countries, bilateral trade of around $200 million between Egypt and Pakistan was not reflective of their actual potential and serious efforts from both sides were needed to improve trade volume.
He said this while talking to a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry that called on him led by its President Sheikh Amir Waheed.
Ahmed Fadel Yakoub said that Egyptian investors considered Pakistan’s construction sector a promising area for investment. He said an Egyptian investor has already invested $2 billion in a real estate project in Islamabad while more were looking for partners in Pakistan for investment and joint ventures.
He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would have positive implications for Egypt as it would lead to easy movement in Suez Canal. He said tourism was another potential area of cooperation between Egypt and Pakistan.
He said that Asia was emerging as a big market and Pakistan was an important country for Egypt to reap business and economic benefits from this region. He said Pakistan and Egypt have great prospects for developing cooperation in many fields and establishing direct contacts between the entrepreneurs of both countries was way forward to realize these objectives.
He said Pakistan could also get better market access to African market by developing strong cooperation with Egypt.
Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pakistan has developed a ‘Look Africa Plan’ to boost trade with African countries and Egypt was an important country for Pakistan to penetrate the African market. He said Pakistan and Egypt have good potential to cooperate in many fields and they should focus on developing strong linkages between their private sectors to explore all untapped areas of mutual cooperation.
He said many Pakistani products including pharmaceuticals, fruits & vegetables, textiles, sports goods, surgical instruments, IT and others could find good market in Egypt.
He said Pakistan and Egypt should identify all the hurdles hampering bilateral trade and take required measures to address them for boosting bilateral trade. Muhammad Naveed, Senior Vice President, ICCI said that both the sides should share information about trade exhibitions and fairs that would be helpful in further improving two-way trade. He said Pakistan and Egypt should establish direct air links that were important to promote trade relations and strengthen people-to-people contacts.
Zubair Ahmed Malik Chairman Founder Group, Khalid Javed, Khalid Iqbal Malik, Zafar Bakhtawari, Ch. Waheed ud Din and Zahid Maqbool were also in the ICCI delegation.
Published in Daily Times, February 2nd 2018.