Pakistan should tap African market for exports: ICCI

February 03, 2023

Acting President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Faad Waheed has said that Pakistan has yet to tap into the African market and a closer relationship with Ethiopia can help in capitalizing on the huge business and investment opportunities there. Speaking with the Ethiopian Ambassador Jemal Beker Abdula at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), he said that the $25 million in bilateral trade that currently exists between Pakistan and Ethiopia is insignificant in comparison to their combined potential.

In order to explore new areas of trade cooperation, he urged both countries to support regular exchange of trade delegations. Faad Waheed said that the beginning of direct flights from Ethiopia to Pakistan is a welcome step, which would strengthen commercial and people-to-people connections between the two nations.

He said that Pakistan produces a wide range of high-quality items, including foodstuffs like rice, medical supplies, surgical equipment, leather goods, sporting goods, and IT products, all of which have a sizable market in Ethiopia. He said that ICCI is ready to join the delegation that Pakistan is forming for Ethiopia.

Speaking at the event, Ambassador Jemal Beker Abdula said that the Ethiopian prime minister is very passionate about fostering economic connections with Pakistan and that a corporate team from Pakistan is scheduled to visit Ethiopia from March 6 to 10 this year to accomplish this goal. In order to access the Ethiopian market for trade and exports, he invited the members of the ICCI to join the aforementioned trip.

He said that in order to find commercial and investment prospects, the group will visit with businesses and governments in Ethiopia. The envoy said that a delegation from the Pakistani Arif Habib Group had already been to Addis Abeba, where it met businesspeople and government representatives and spoke about potential investment opportunities in the manufacturing sector of Ethiopia.

He said that Ethiopia serves as a gateway for the continent of Africa and that Pakistani businessmen have a strong chance to establish industrial facilities there in order to gain duty-free access to the continent's enormous market of 1.4 billion people. He said that Pakistani exporters have a high chance of supplying Ethiopia with the numerous goods it imports, including textiles, building materials, and pharmaceuticals. He said that the Ethiopian airline will likely begin service between Addis Abeba and Karachi in March 2023, which would help strengthen both business and inter-country connections.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk