Pakistan To Enhance Bilateral Trade With Africa
By Wallace Mawire
The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Harare on 25 January,2023 held an introductory trade event introducing the upcoming 2nd Edition of the Engineering and Healthcare Show to be held on 23 to 25 february 2023) in Lahore, Pakistan.
The event is being organized by the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of Pakistan and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan in the historical city of Lahore, Pakistan.
The introductory trade event was attended by dignitaries, Ambassadors, Head of National Chambers, Regulators, Government officials and representatives of companies and businessmen from a multitude of sectors in Zimbabwe.
His Excellency Murad Baseer, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan made a presentation on the trade potential and the sectors that will be represented at the expo in Lahore.
The Ambassador emphasized that Pakistan cherishes its historical brotherly ties with Zimbabwe and the African continent. While referring to the immensely untapped trade potential between Zimbabwe and with Africa at large, the Ambassador highlighted Pakistan’s interest in engaging with the African continent and enhance its exports figures which currently stands at 6% of Pakistan’s total exports to the world.
Currently, Pakistan’s exports to the continent of Africa stands at USD 1.56 billion, whereas Pakistani imports from the continent stood at USD 5.6 billion for the fiscal year 2021-22. Imports from the African continent have increased by USD 3 billion from USD 2.66 billion since 2017-18. The Ambassador reiterated that the Government of Pakistan in light of its “Engage Africa Policy” intends to build, consolidate and strengthen frameworks for enhancing bilateral trade relations with the African continent.
On trade with Zimbabwe, the Ambassador said that the current trade statistics between the two countries is not representative of the trade potential between the two countries. Total trade between the two countries for the fiscal year 2021-22 stands at a paltry USD 30.8 million. Pakistan’s exports to Zimbabwe included, Rice, Tractors, Sport goods, leather Gloves, Fabrics of Cotton, horticulture products, safety equipment, clothing, rubber tyres, surgical instruments, wadding of textile materials etc. Pakistan’s exports to Zimbabwe stood at USD 9.28 million. On the other hand, Zimbabwe’s exports to Pakistan mainly included Raw Cotton and Tanning Extracts of vegetable origin. Raw tea has also been exported to Pakistan in the past. Zimbabwe exports to Pakistan during fiscal year 2021-22 were worth USD 21.52 million with balance of trade in favour of Zimbabwe.
The Ambassador gave a briefing and introduced various sectors that will be on display at the 2nd Engineering and Healthcare Show in the historical city of Lahore. He highlighted the sectors like Pharmaceuticals, Agri-Machinery, Auto-part, Paints and Chemicals, Cement and Construction sector, Plastics, Home Appliances, Electrical and Mechanical goods, Cosmetics, Packaging, Surgical instruments, Kitchenware Cutlery etc. The Ambassador expressed his desire to enhance the trade volume between Pakistan and Zimbabwe and increase the “Made in Pakistan” footprint in the country.
The event was also attended by participants representing the national chambers and business community in Zambia, Malawi, Angola and DR Congo virtually on Zoom.
The Ambassador also briefed the participants on the administrative aspects of the 2nd Engineering and Healthcare Show 2023 and informed the participants to register themselves online for the Expo in Lahore.
The event was a one its kind event held in the recent past in Harare showcasing Pakistan’s manufacturing potential that can be exported to Zimbabwe.
In addition to that, the event resulted in identifying potential buyers and importers in various sectors in Zimbabwe. Similarly, such events provide opportunity for businessmen, regulators and decision makers in Zimbabwe to interact with Pakistani businesses and understand the business environment, manufacturing capabilities and capacities, logistics setups and regulatory requirements enabling and enhancing bilateral trade between Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
The Ambassador invited businessmen, regulators and officials for maximum participation in the 2nd Engineering and Healthcare Show 2023 and hoped to see many at the Expo Center in Lahore, Pakistan.
The Ambassador acknowledged that the African continent holds the future for trade and commercial opportunities and Pakistan has no intentions of missing out on mutually beneficial trade opportunities available.
The Ambassador thanked the Government of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the President of Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce for their support in making the event a success.