Pakistan must benefit from $3trn ASEAN economy: Iftikhar Malik

Pakistan must benefit from trn ASEAN economy: Iftikhar Malik

LAHORE (INP): President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik has said that Pakistan must benefit from $3 trillion Associations of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) economy for boosting bilateral trade and further cementing economic ties.
While talking to Pak origin traders delegation from Vietnam led by engineer Ahmad Muzammil Qamar Kamboh which called on him here on Sunday, he said with ASEAN’s $3 trillion economic power and a large market of 650 million people in the region, the mutual $7 billion trade between ASEAN and Pakistan is far below its potential.
He said Pakistan is a huge market with a population of 230 million where there are huge opportunities for ASEAN countries as well. Iftikhar Ali Malik said China has $600 billion in trade with ASEAN countries. Similarly China and ASEAN countries have a free trade agreement with Pakistan from which both sides can benefit. Regarding multilateral trade in ASEAN and Pakistan’s trade interests with this trading bloc, the Vietnam being it’s an important member can also play its role in paying the way for trade with Pakistan.
He added that ASEAN is a very effective trading block of the world have signed the free trade agreements (FTAs) with China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand from which all the regional countries are benefiting.
He said that way Pakistan has GSP (Generalised Scheme of Preference) plus agreement with European countries and FTA with other countries now both sides can promote bilateral trade under one agreement.
Iftikhar Ali Malik who is also chairman United Business Group in the federation of Pakistan chamber of commerce and industry said his group recently held a result oriented forum in Islamabad with ASEAN countries which was participated by Vietnam Ambassador Nguyen Tien Phong, Ambassador of Thailand Chakkrid Kravhaiwing and Malaysian Acting Ambassador.
Leader of the delegation Eng Ahmad Muzzamil Qamar Kamboh speaking on the occasion said strenuous efforts must be made to further swell the trade volume between two countries through FTA.
He said the main reason for the decline in bilateral trade volume between both countries was lack of mutual awareness between either sides which needed to be improved in the future.

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