Czech minister calls for increased bilateral trade with Pakistan

KARACHI: Czech Republic’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Ivan Jancarek has said that the global economic, environmental, and financial changes have caused lower trade volume between Pakistan and the Czech Republic.

He said this in a meeting with the business community during his visit to FPCCI on Wednesday.

Deputy Minister who was accompanied by Czech Republic’s Ambassador and Honorary Consul General lamented that the volume of bilateral trade was below the potential and had declined to $150 million from $217 million last year, while the volume of Pakistan’s exports to the Czech Republic is $92 million and imports from the Czech Republic is $57 million which does not reflect the potential of both countries.

It was further informed by Deputy Minister that in order to further strengthen economic ties between both the countries, Czech Republic would sign agreement with Pakistan on trade cooperation and foreign affairs. He expressed that Pakistan being a country with a population of 208 million has a great attraction for foreign investment particularly in the backdrop of CPEC. He said that the Czech Export Bank can offer its services and cooperation in establishing various joint ventures. He also highlighted the cultural and tourism heritage of his country.

Earlier, FPCCI Vice President Tariq Haleem, while welcoming the minister informed about  FPCCI activities, particularly in context with investment policy, and Pakistan’s export potential. He said that Pakistan and Czech Republic enjoy political relations and have common thoughts and views on global economic issues; however the bilateral trade between our two countries does not reflect the true potential and the depth of our relations.

Presently, Pakistan export to the Czech Republic mainly constitutes Bed linen, table toilets, and kitchen linen, articles of apparel and clothing, accessories of leather, and other hosiery, knitted or crocheted. Pakistan is a buyer of the Czech Republic steam turbine and vapour turbine, uncoated kraft paper and paperboard, radar apparatus, radio navigation etc. The reason behind the low bilateral trade between Pakistan and the Czech Republic indicates a lack of information about each other’s economic, trade and investment potential, and a low level of interaction between the private sectors of both countries.

He emphasised on the need of frequent exchange of delegations, participation in trade fairs of each other countries, as well as holding joint business council meetings between the national chambers of both countries. Such interaction will contribute in the enhancement of bilateral trade and economic relations. He insisted that the Czech Republic has a great capability of manufacturing machinery and Pakistan should make use of their technology.

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