KARACHI: last week, the leading businessman of Karachi, Mr. Zubair Baweja, Managing Director, Regent Plaza Hotel & Convention Centre hosted a grand Luncheon reception at Safforn restaurant, Regent Plaza in the honour of His Excellency Dr. Brahim Romani, ambassador of Algeria. A large cross section of the city’s elite, including industrialists, businessmen and professionals responded to his invitation, making the luncheon reception a very impressive event.
While addressing a wide cross section of Karachi dignitaries, Mr. Baweja first expressed his sincere thanks to all guests for joining him to welcome His Excellency Dr. brahim Romani. He said that political ties between the two countries have always remained strong. In spite of a close political relationship, the scope for commercial engagement remains vast and largely unexplored.
“More meaningful travel, tourism and other trade relationships with Algeria would not only be beneficial to Pakistan but could be the beginning of a deeper and stronger relationship with the continent of Africa as a whole” He added.
Pakistan was a strong supporter of Algerian independence even before the inception of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize the “Provisional Government of Republic of Algeria” in exile on 19 September 1958 under the Prime Minister-ship of Farhat Abbas and had permitted it to open its Mission in Karachi. The Government of Pakistan provided diplomatic passports to prominent members of the Algerian government in exile for their foreign travel, such as Ahmed Ben Bella.
His Excellency, Dr. Brahim Romani, Ambassador of Algeria said that Two countries always understood that they have common interests and note the close proximity of their respective positions on numerous international issues. On higher level both countries have very good relations but if we see the mutual trade, tourism, people to people contact and other exports and imports activities the results are not so encouraging up till now.
He said that his country was keen to promote trade and economic ties with Pakistan as Pakistan was a huge market for business relations. However, it was the need of the time that both countries should focus on improving trade and economic relations to achieve more beneficial results for their economies.
“With new investment law with regulatory decrees Algeria is an ideal country for foreign investment. In this regard the Algerian agency for the investment promotion is supposed to facilitate the foreign businessmen on every step” His Excellency Said.
He further added that Pakistan has great potential to enhance trade relations with the African region and its close cooperation with Algeria would help it in increasing its outreach to Africa, even to Europe and Middle Eastern countries. He said that Pakistan was strong in ICT and Algeria was keen to take benefit from its expertise to promote its ICT sector.
He said that Pakistan is producing many quality products like cotton, textiles, construction material, chemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, electronic items, food products and Pakistani exporters can export these products to Algeria.
He said that Algeria organises many an international trade fairs and the Pakistani business community should avail this opportunity and participate in upcoming trade fairs and improve business linkages with Algerian counterparts and explore new avenues of trade promotion with Algeria. He stressed for establishing a Pakistan Algeria Business Council and Pakistan-Algeria Friendship association to further improve business relations between the two countries.
“Algeria, the North African energy powerhouse not only can address Pakistan’s energy shortfall, Algerian oil and gas expertise could also help Pakistan in building up much needed energy self-reliance” The ambassador Said.
While asked by Holiday weekly, he assured that his embassy would facilitate the Pakistani entrepreneurs and can issue visas in few hours. He assured that even for Pakistani tourists the embassy will make visa process simple, easy and convenient.