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Pakistan interested in joining Association of South East Asian Nations

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Karachi, June 25, 2012 (PPI-OT): Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s President Mian Abrar Ahmad stated that Pakistan is interested in joining Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and seeks Indonesian support in this regard as both Muslim countries had deep-rooted brotherhood and relationship encompassed over decades.

In a meeting with the Consul General of Indonesia Rossalis Rusman Adenan at KCCI, he voiced that signing of PTA on the occasion of 62nd anniversary of Pak-Indonesia Friendship was a hallmark to open new chapter of economic and commercial cooperation. KCCI believes that the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) will bring closure the business communities of both countries and will give a strong boost to the bilateral trade ties.

He hoped that this PTA will lead to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) sooner. As a result of PTA, Pak Indonesia bilateral trade could escalate upto US Dollar 2 Billion in coming years from the current figure of around 800 Million US Dollars. Indonesia would be able to increase its export of crude palm oil to Pakistan whereas Pakistan can export to Indonesia its value added textiles, carpets, fabrics, leather and export goods, chemicals, surgical etc.

He urged for Indonesia-Pakistan joint ventures in crude palm oil and agricultural value added products. He also asserted upon the need of building trading blocks of Pakistan with Asian countries, ECO, Central Asian Republics and SAARC countries.

He focused that the Pakistan is located in between these three blocks and due to its geo-strategic position, Indonesia and the countries worldwide may exports to these blocks through Pakistan. To uplift the Pakistan economy he voiced to enhance regional trade.

He also enlightened the Consul General about the key role of Karachi Chamber in the socio-economic development of Pakistan and informed about the aims of KCCI to develop regional trade. He urged the Consul General to suggest and convince the Jakarta Chamber to form joint Chamber with KCCI on the pattern of Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber which KCCI formed last year. He conveyed gratitude to the Consul General for inviting Indonesian exhibitors to participate in the Karachi Chamber’s My-Karachi Oasis of Harmony Exhibition scheduled to be organized in July 2012.

President of Pakistan-Indonesia Business Forum (PIBF) and former President KCCI Abdul Majid Haji Muhammad, while speaking on the occasion, reminisced that the diplomatic relations between two countries were established in 1949 and both brother countries were huge markets as together Indonesia and Pakistan form over 400 million of Muslim population which is over 1/3 of the entire Muslim population of the world.

A number of Pakistani soldiers fought alongside Indonesians in their struggle for independence. Indonesia was among the first countries to recognize Pakistan and soon after the partition of India its President Sukarno also paid an official visit to Pakistan in 1950. Pakistan also remember and acclaimed the staunch support during 1965 Pak-India war. He anticipated that Pakistan-Indonesia Business Forum would play a vital role in further enhancing and strengthening of the mutually beneficial trade ties between the business communities of two brother Muslim Countries.

This initiative will certainly open new avenues of cooperation and direct interaction between the corporate sector of Indonesia and Pakistan. He appreciated that the Consul General was very cooperative to business community and was vibrant to enhance bilateral trade. He attached importance to frequent exchange of business delegations, market and trade information, holding of single country exhibitions and informed that a joint delegation of PIBF and KCCI is planned to visit Indonesia soon.

There is ample goodwill for expansion of trade and establishment of joint ventures in various industrial sectors. Alike Malaysia , Indonesia may also take advantage and services of qualified Pakistani professionals in the field of engineering, health and medicine. There is also a good level of investment from Pakistani firms in Indonesia alongside there is a plenty investment opportunities for Indonesian counterparts as well.

Consul General of Indonesia Rossalis Rusman Adenan recognized the vibrant role of Karachi Chamber to promote trade and industry, Indonesia-Pakistan bilateral trade and formation of Pakistan-Indonesia Business Forum (PIBF). He informed that the Indonesia-Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement will be enforced by July 2012 and Indonesian Commerce Minister is visiting Pakistan next month to meet his counterpart and discuss about the implementation of PTA.

He stated that Pakistan and Indonesia signed PTA on 4th February, 2012 whereby Indonesia agreed to offer market access to Pakistan on 216 tariff lines on preferential rate while Pakistan has offered 287 tariff lines.

The Indonesian offer list includes products of export interest to Pakistan including fresh fruits, cotton yarn, cotton fabrics, readymade garments, fans sports goods, leather goods and other industrial products. Pakistan also agreed to provide the same treatment to Palm Oil products from Indonesia as provided to Malaysia under Pak- Malaysia FTA.

It means Pakistan will import palm oil from Indonesia @ 15 percent Margin of Preference (MoP) rate. Pakistan has been importing palm oil and its products from Malaysia and Indonesia. Consul General articulated that the preferential market access provided by Pakistan to Indonesian palm products will have a positive impact on the overall economy of the country.

Both countries had previously signed the framework agreement as Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEPA). Current balance of trade is in favour of Indonesia and there is a need to enhance Pakistani exports to Indonesia. He suggested that Pakistani mango may be exported to Indonesia due to its finest quality.

He informed that he convinced Indonesian Businesspersons to participate in the KCCI’s My-Karachi Exhibition and several exhibitors had confirmed their participation who along with an officials of Indonesian Chambers and Foreign Ministry will visit to participate in the exhibition next month.

Former President KCCI Majyd Aziz, Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Managing Committee Members Asif Nisar, Shamim Firpo, Naeem Ahmed, Atiqur Rehman, Arshad Islam also participated in the meeting. President KCCI also presented Chamber’s crest to Indonesian Consul General.

For more information, contact:
M. Shafiq Baig
Public Relations Officer
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road,
Shahrah-e-Liaquat, Karachi-74000
Tel: +9221 9921 8001 -09
Fax: +9221 9921 8010


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