Although there is a lot of potential to increase the export of rice from Pakistan to Malaysia, but it is presently limited due to quota restrictions in Malaysia. This issue was raised at a meeting of the directors and members of Pak-Malaysia Business Council (PMBC) of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) held on September 17, at Federation House.
The meeting was specially attended by Abu Bakar Mamat, Consul General of Malaysia in Karachi and Mazlan Bin Harun, Consul (Trade) of Malaysia in Pakistan. M Basheer Jan Mohammed, Chairman of the Council chaired the meeting which was also attended by Zakaria Usman, President FPCCI on special invitation besides Ismail Suttar and Khurram Sayeed, Vice Presidents of the FPCCI and leading businessmen.
The meeting laid emphasis on more export of rice from Pakistan to Malaysia and requested the Malaysian Consul General and Trade Consul to assist in this respect. Bilateral trade and business relations with Malaysia were also reviewed in detail and the problems being faced by Pakistani exporters to Malaysia and ways and means to resolve were deliberated.
Basheer Jan Mohammed appreciated the role played by Abu Bakar Mamat in promoting bilateral trade relation between Malaysia and Pakistan and hoped that with the induction of Mazlan Bin Harun significant improvements would take place in promoting bilateral trade. Abu Bakar also appreciated support of Pakistani businessmen and stated that no branded Pakistani product is marketed in Malaysia.
It was noted that the balance of trade between Pakistan and Malaysia is tilted in favour of Malaysia for a long time and in order to narrow down the trade deficit, there is dire need for increasing export of non-traditional items as well as the existing items being exported to Malaysia. It was advised by the Malaysian Trade Consul that some new commodities are being included in Free Trade Agreement (FTA), for which both the governments are working and hoped to finalise a concrete list by December 2014, which would bring incentive to Pakistan’s exporters as well.
Zakaria Usman appreciated the significant contribution of Basheer Jan Mohammed in promoting bilateral trade with Malaysia and for bringing Foreign Direct Investment to Pakistan. He further assured full support of FPCCI to Pak-Malaysia Business Council and emphasised on more person-to-person contact between Pakistani and Malaysian businessmen which is necessary for promoting bilateral trade.
He also emphasised to explore possibility of export of Halal food from Pakistan. The President FPCCI suggested to open office in Kuala Lumpur in near future (as already done by the Federation in China and Brussels), which will be instrumental in promoting bilateral trade, particularly exports of Pakistani commodities to Malaysia. He assured the PMBC that FPCCI will support fully in this respect.
Originally published on www.par.com.pk