United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi has said that the UAE is ready to extend full assistance to Pakistani businessmen to help them explore the opportunities offered by the Emirati market. “For us, Pakistan is among the top 25 important strategic global trade partners,” Dr Al Zeyoudi said in his remarks at the second trade session organized by Pakistan Business Council in Dubai this week. The trade session was held to discuss new business opportunities, boost trade volume between the UAE and Pakistan and capitalize the opportunities relating to Dubai Expo 2020, being held in October 2021 after being delayed due to pandemic. Dr Al Zeyoudi said the UAE and Pakistan shared deep bilateral relations based on a long history, trust and trade that showed growth even during the tough times. He said in terms of imports, the UAE was Pakistan’s second-biggest partner, besides the two countries also having significant investments in various sectors, including real estate. The UAE recently announced the 100 percent foreign ownership law, which has spurred economic activity and been hailed by the business community around the world,” Dr. Al Zeyoudi noted. Pakistan’s ambassador to UAE Afzaal Mahmood in his speech highlighted the scope for Pakistani entrepreneurs to benefit from the UAE’s diverse market and Expo 2020. He said Pakistan under its pavilion themed ‘Pakistan – The Hidden Treasure’ will showcase the country’s history, culture, agriculture, tourism, and hospitality. The ambassador mentioned that as the economies of Pakistan and the UAE complemented each other, there was a need to explore the value-added advantages in the interest of both sides. President of the Pakistan Business Council in Dubai Ahmed Shaikhani said the two sides had shown interest in areas such as agri-technology, healthcare and wellness, manufacturing, logistics, information technology and food security. The first meeting between UAE minister Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi and Pakistan Business Council was held in May 2021, focusing on business opportunities and the ways to strengthen trade. The meeting was successfully concluded with a resolution to boost trade volume between UAE and Pakistan amounting from around AED30 billion (US$8.19 billion-2019) to doubling it over the next five years.