KARACHI: Consul General of Malaysia, His Excellency Ismail Bin Mohammad Bkri has underscored the need for a visa-free regime between Pakistan and Malaysia in order to effectively promote people-to-people and business-to-business contacts between the two countries.
Exchanging view with Chairman of Pakistan Soap Manufacturers Association (PSMA) Abdullah Zaki, Senior Vice Chairman PSMA Muhammad Ali Zia and other PSMA members during his visit to PSMA Office, the Malaysian CG added that if such a visa-free regime was taken into consideration, it will surely being people more close to each other, enhance the existing trade ties and definitely create a win-win situation for both countries.
Commenting on Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the Malaysian Consul General stressed the need to revisit the existing FTA whereas more products and commodities have to be incorporated in the FTA keeping in view the prevailing circumstances.
He opined that Pakistan has emerged as a good trading partner for Malaysian suppliers who were keen to expand their businesses with Pakistani counterparts.
He was fairly optimistic that opportunities to further enhance the existing trade ties between the two countries will continue to expand in different sectors of the economy, resulting in strengthening the existing trade ties between Pakistan and Malaysia.
Earlier, Chairman PSMA Abdullah Zaki, while welcoming the Malaysian Consul General, said that Malaysia and Pakistan have been enjoying cordial relations and numerous commodities, particularly edible oils, were currently being traded between the two countries but there was a dire need to diversify the existing product range being traded between the two brotherly countries.
Chairman PSMA said that the soap industry of Pakistan was looking forward to boost imports of raw materials from Malaysia which has to be facilitated by providing better opportunities under Free Trade Agreement (FTA). He informed that visit of a PSMA delegation has already been finalized to attend POC-2017 scheduled to be staged in the first week of March 2017 in Kuala Lumpur.
He said that 80 percent of the raw material being used by the soap industry was being imported from different sources and the remaining 20 percent was being produced locally whereas Pakistani soap manufacturers prefer to use Palm Byproducts to manufacture best quality Laundry & Toilet Soaps.
Commenting on existing trade ties between Pakistan and Malaysia, Abdullah Zaki said that Pakistan’s total export to Malaysia stood at US$144 million and its imports were around US$825 million in 2016, which clearly depicts a huge trade gap, which has to be addressed. He underscored the need to make collective efforts to further enhance the existing trade volume of around US$1 billion.