ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s business community on Tuesday lauded Saudi Arabia’s commitment to investing billions of dollars into the dwindling economy of Pakistan.
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) lauded the business-to-business agreements with their Saudi counterparts but stressed the need to improve the standards of Pakistani goods and services so as to tap the benefits of Saudi deals.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the top tier management of the FPCCI welcomed the bilateral arrangements with the Saudi private sector.
“The most important part of these agreements was that the crown prince was directly supervising these business agreements and it was for the first time that the private sector was given the opportunity to take the lead in devising business deals,” FPCCI President Daroo Khan Achakzai said.
Flanked with senior leaders of FPCCI, including Mirza Ikhtiar Baig and SAARC Chambers of Commerce and Industry Vice Chairman Iftikhar A Malik, Daroo Khan said that the agreement for technical cooperation was the key to success of these memorandums of understanding ( MOUs).
“The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation (SASO) and PSQCA of Pakistan will cooperate in order to raise the standards of Pakistani goods and services for exports to Saudi Arabia,” Khan said.
Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig said, “We welcome the establishment of Saudi-Pak Joint Business Council.” He said that the council will have 10 members from each side, and the first meeting of the council will be held next month. He also said that there was a need to improve certain things in the country such as reducing the high mark-up rates.
Meanwhile, Iftikhar A Malik said that Pakistan has a strong base in industrial, agricultural as well as research sectors but there was a need for modernisation and investments to compete in changing global environment.
“Though Pakistan allows investments on 100 per cent ownership, we expect that there will be joint ventures with Saudi business community as they too are seeking to broaden their economy and also want to enter agriculture-based businesses,” he said.
He suggested that the Pakistani business community, as well as the government, needed to adapt to the changing business environment globally.
“Our product and service standards have to be in accordance with the importer and after improving the standards of our human resource, we should approach other Muslim countries so that they can invite our workforce,” he added.
The FPCCI leaders also decried the recent actions taken by Indian government which were damaging the business environment in the whole region and said that business should not be mixed with politics.