KARACHI: President FPCCI Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has expressed his satisfaction over a high-profile, bilaterally well-attended and extensive session of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia Joint Business Council. The session was meant to enhance the trade volume and exploring avenues for joint ventures, said the FPCCI statement on Tuesday. The all-encompassing session was organised in a business-to-business format in the presence of trade officials and tangible ventures worth millions were discussed, he added. Sheikh apprised that business, industrial and trade communities of the two sides had never been that confident before on the potential areas of cooperation as the bilateral diplomatic, defence, economic and trade ties are at an all-time high. He emphasised that the negotiations to sign Pak-GCC FTA were at an advanced stage and Pakistan should greatly benefit from the perks that would come with it. Pakistan should target IT and IT-enabled services exports to Saudi Arabia, along with skilled workforce in Information and Communication Technologies. Highlighting other areas, FPCCI Chief said that value-added textiles, leather products, footwear, handicrafts, sports goods, pharmaceuticals, surgical goods, gems and jewellery, rice, fruits and vegetables and construction materials could fetch major additional orders from Saudi Arabia worth billions of dollars annually. And, that was the only sustainable way to curtail Pakistan’s trade deficit which was expected to be close to $48 billion – when the final figures come out for the fiscal year 2021 – 22. Qasim Naveed Qamar, special advisor to Sindh Chief Minister on Investment and public-Private Partnership, maintained that the Sindh Government would encourage the efforts of FPCCI in all ways possible to enable the apex body to promote industrialization; generate employment and accelerate economic activities in the province.