UAE, Pakistan to boost trade and investment: UAE Minister of Foreign Trade

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Gwadar Port in Pakistan. The Pakistan Business Council in Dubai on Tuesday evening organised the second trade session with Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, to discuss new business opportunities, boosting bilateral trade volume between the UAE and Pakistan. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: The Pakistan Business Council in Dubai on Tuesday evening organised the second trade session with Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, to discuss new business opportunities, boosting bilateral trade volume between the UAE and Pakistan and capitalising on Expo 2020 opportunity.

The minister was accompanied by Afzaal Mahmood, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE, along with several Pakistani businessmen and businesswomen who are based in the UAE.

“We are prepared to provide full assistance to the Pakistani businesses in enabling more Pakistani entrepreneurs and businessmen to explore the opportunities available in the UAE market,” said Dr. Al Zeyoudi

“For us, Pakistan is among the top 25 important strategic global trade partners. In terms of imports, the UAE is Pakistan’s second-biggest partner. Both countries also have significant investments in various sectors in each other’s economies such as 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,” said Dr. Al Zeyoudi.

The first meeting between the minister and Pakistan Business Council was held in the first week of May 2021, which discussed various business opportunities and ways to strengthen trade between the two countries. The meeting was successfully concluded with a resolution to boost trade volume between UAE and Pakistan amounted from around AED30 billion (US$8.19 billion-2019) to doubling it over the next five years.

Highlighting Expo 2020 mega opportunity for businesses, Mahmood said, “Our two economies complement each other, so we need to understand where the value-added advantage lies and how we can support each other. We work with that spirit with the UAE. The Pakistan government has announced several initiatives that will attract the foreign business community to explore several sectors in Pakistan such as tourism, agriculture, fashion, and hospitality.”

“Pakistan will be participating at the Expo 2020 Dubai with its pavilion under the theme ‘Pakistan: The Hidden Treasure’ and we encourage everyone to come and visit,” he added. “You will see everything about Pakistan’s history, culture, agriculture, tourism, and hospitality. We invite more and more Pakistan businesses to come forward and sign up for the expo.”

Ahmed Shaikhani, President of the Pakistan Business Council in Dubai, said that there are several opportunities for both nations to collaborate and strengthen existing ties. Both nations are already in talks to work together in segments such as agritech, healthcare and wellness, manufacturing, logistics, information technology and food security as “Pakistan has a wealth of expertise in the agriculture sector which we can share with our UAE partners”.