T&I officers advised to study designated countries

KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) & Former President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Siraj Kassam Teli has advised the newly appointed Trade & Investment Officers to carry out extensive study of their designated countries and this study must review the country’s specific needs and what Pakistani products can be promoted and marketed so that our exports to all these countries could be enhanced, says a Press release.
Speaking at a meeting with the recently appointed Trade & Investment Officers during their visit to KCCI, Chairman BMG stressed that staying confined to typical lip service only and a few traditional emails to the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs or TDAP will do no good hence, the Trade & Investment Officers, who were formerly known as the Commercial Counsellors, must focus on creating a vibrant system of interaction and a platform for regular communications with an only intention to promote Pakistan and enhance linkages between the trading partners from Pakistan and their designated countries.
President KCCI Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Senior Vice President Arshad Islam, Vice President Shahid Ismail, Chairman Special Committee for My Karachi Exhibition Muhammad Idrees, Former President Majyd Aziz and KCCI Managing Committee Members along with Trade & Investment Officers who were led by Deputy Director Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Fida Hussain, were also present at the meeting.
Siraj Teli further said that Trade & Investment Officers must target those people who were intending to import Pakistani products and they must also have a detailed list of all the Pakistani products and services which can be provided to numerous countries with good quality and good quantum. “Besides focusing on seeking ways for enhancing the exports, you (Trade & Investment Officers) must also hold frequent meetings with potential businessmen to look into the possibility of enhancing collaborations through Joint Ventures (JVs)”, he added.
He said that due to poor performance of Commercial Counsellors who were good for nothing, Pakistan had a very bad experience in the past but as they have now been renamed as Trade & Investment Officers, the business & industrial community expects a better performance and they must have the passion, zeal and wide thinking to dedicatedly serve the country as a true Pakistani. “It is going to be a difficult task as the past has not been so good because excluding a few, the performance of majority of the Commercial Counsellors was really poor”, he added.
Siraj Teli was fairly optimistic that if these Trade & Investment Officers work dedicatedly only in the interest of the country as a true Pakistani, they will absolutely have no problems in finding the potential importers and also those businessmen intending to invest or undertake joint ventures in Pakistan.
He further asked Trade & Investment Officers to maintain proper repo and contacts not only with the business community but also with the corridors of power of their designated country or city which will help in bringing investments.
Moreover, Chairman BMG also advised the Trade & Investment Officers to maintain excellent liaison with KCCI’s Research & Development Department, which can be approached anytime to seek any kind of assistance as it was capable of providing all types of information while the R&D website can also be browsed for access to precise and very useful trade-related information, besides sharing trade related queries with KCCI so that the same could be disseminated amongst exporters interested in sending the required products to their respective countries.
Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, while underscoring the need to change the mindset, stated that the recently appointed Trade & Investment Officers must make themselves fully aware of all the problems being faced by the business & industrial community which were terribly hindering trade and investment ties with numerous countries around the world and accordingly devise strategies to facilitate the business community in order to improve Pakistan’s exports. “In this regard, regular consultations and interactions must take place with the Karachi Chamber as majority of the exporters were based in Karachi and were KCCI’s member and the Chamber was well aware of their issues that need to be resolved through collective efforts”, he added.
He also stressed the need to carry out extensive and high-quality studies by Trade & Investment Officers which must gauge the overall size of the markets, demands and potential for Pakistani products. The information gathered must also be shared with KCCI so that the same could be circulated amongst its members to attract their interest, particularly in those markets where Pakistan’s exports were way too low. “There is a dire need to establish Promo Councils in order to effectively promote the exports of surgical goods, fruits & vegetables, marbles, gems & jewelry and many other products in which Pakistan enjoys not only enjoys comparative but also natural advantage”, he added.
Agha Shahab was of the opinion the exports-led growth can be ensured only when the Trade & Investment Officers play a more proactive role and work rigorously for improving trade and investment ties with friendly countries. He also extended KCCI’s full support and cooperation to all the Trade & Investment Officers during their postings in designated countries and also expected similar cooperation from them as well.

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