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Businessmen advised to export fruits, vegetables, live meat

KARACHI: Consul General of Oman Eng. Sami Abdullah Salim AlKhanjari, while expressing sheer dissatisfaction over very limited trade between Oman and Pakistan, stated that although there was potential to enhance trade but not much trade was taking place despite being very close to each other, says a Press release.
“Pakistan has been exporting rice, mangoes and potatoes only to Oman but what about onions, chilies, carrots, lemons and other agricultural products which can quickly reach Oman in fresh state but, unfortunately, Pakistan is nowhere in exporting all such and many other products to Oman which are being imported by Oman from far-flung countries including China, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Ethiopia and Somalia etc.”, he added while exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).
First Secretary Consulate General of Oman Abdullah Juma Abdullah AlHarbi, Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala (Via Zoom), President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, Senior Vice President Altaf A. Ghaffar, Former President Majyd Aziz and KCCI Managing Committee Members attended the meeting.
Omani CG advised the business community of Karachi to look into the possibility of exporting more fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products to Oman so that the existing trade volume could be improved. “Pakistani rice being exported to Oman is one the best in world whose exports needs to be enhanced further. We not only require frozen meat but also live meat”, he added.
He was of the opinion that Pakistan’s textile and leather products including towels and garments etc. hold good potential but these were also not being exported to Oman which also requires special attention.
While advising the business community to look into the possibility of benefiting from the investment opportunities in Oman, he informed that Oman has five ports namely Salalah, Qalhat, Sohar, Duqm and Sultan Qaboos which are the best in the gulf region where investors from China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India and many other countries have made substantial investment. “Saudi Arabia alone has invested more than US$1 billion while another US$1 billion is also on its way. India, which is a little far from Oman as compared to Pakistan, is also making good investment in Oman but Pakistan is not there, despite being closer to us.”
“Why we are unable to improve trade. If it is a visa issue, we are dealing with it”, he said, adding that a study was currently under way for introducing ‘One Visa’ for all GCC countries which is going to be similar to Schengen visa but there are some security issues which would be resolved and ‘One Visa’ facility will be launched very soon.
He also noted that thousands of Omanis were living here in Pakistan whereas around 300,000 Pakistanis were also working and doing business in Oman in various fields.
Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, who joined the meeting via Zoom, said that Pakistan and Oman were long-trusted friends and it was heartening to see that a large number of Pakistani workers were working in Oman which was a great country with great people. “Salalah Port is a very good port in Oman which can also be used for transshipment by Pakistan exporters who are currently using Dubai Port for transshipment purposes”, he said while advising the Omani CG to share info about facilities which can provided at Salalah Port to Pakistani importers and exporters.
He was of the view that opening up of more business opportunities in Oman will be a great thing to do which would not only help in strengthening relations but also result in increased exports to Oman.
Earlier, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, while welcoming Omani CG, stated that Pakistan and Oman have decades-old ties based on common culture, brotherhood and people-to-people contacts. “Pakistan’s exports to Oman stood at $193 million in FY23 which are much below the potential that exists between the two countries. Both countries need to reduce trade barriers, diversify the range of products, simplify customs procedures, promote SMEs, and foster business collaboration to give a much-needed trade boost for economic integration”, he added.
He said that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) offers a wonderful platform for Omani investors to pursue lucrative opportunities in the energy, agriculture, livestock, information technology, mines & minerals sectors etc. as these sectors have immense potential for boosting bilateral and economic development between the two countries.
He also stressed that both countries need to improve people-to-people contact, exchange trade delegations, and participate in each other’s fair exhibitions laying the groundwork for improving bilateral trade & for closer economic ties. “Potential exists between Pakistan and Oman for expanding cooperation in various sectors including textile, halal, oil & gas sector, banks, transportation & infrastructure development to accelerate bilateral trade between the two countries”, he opined.
While appreciating the Omani CG for playing a significant role in strengthening Pak-Oman relations, President KCCI hoped to see more deepened bilateral relationship between the two brotherly countries and extended full support and cooperation in achieving the common objective to enhanced trade and investment cooperation.

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