Karachi-Chittagong shipping line to reduce time, costMarch 1, 2016
KARACHI: High Commissioner of People’s Republic of Bangladesh Suhrab Hossain, while underscoring the need of having direct shipping line between Karachi and Chittagong, said that initiation of direct shipping line between the two countries would not only reduce time but will also bring down the cost of transportation.
In this regard, he advised the Karachi Chamber to take up this issue with the government so that the suggestion of having direct shipping line could be considered.
Exchanging views during his farewell visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Suhrab Hossain said that during his six years long tenure as the High Commissioner of Bangladesh, it was his third and last visit to the largest Chamber of Pakistan. “Time has come that I have to leave Pakistan but I cannot leave this country without saying goodbye to my brothers and sisters in Karachi Chamber”, he added.
Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh Noor-e-Helal Saifur Rehman, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President KCCI Mohammad Naeem Sharif, Former SVP KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo, Chairperson of Women Entrepreneurs Sub-Committee KCCI Ms. Durre Shahwar Nisar and KCCI Managing Committee members were present at the meeting.
Bangladeshi HC further said, “We consider Pakistan as not only a friendly but also a brotherly country. We know each other very well and that is the beauty of our relationship.”
Referring to the growth and progress witnessed by Bangladesh, he said that when Bangladesh came to existence, nothing was available while the country’s foreign reserves were zero and it even faced severe food crisis in 1974. “Today, Bangladesh holds strong foreign reserves of US$28 billion and it is self-sufficient in terms of food and agricultural commodities which are being exported to numerous countries”, he informed, adding that Bangladesh was the 2nd largest exporters of garments after China.
He said that no load shedding was taking place in any area of Bangladesh and it has been one of the top priority of the government to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to the industry and the agricultural sector which ensured progress for the country.
He pointed out that many Pakistani businessmen and industrialists were successfully doing business in Bangladesh and invited the business and industrial community of Karachi to invest more in Bangladesh which will be fully protected under government’s foreign investment policy.
“Let us work together and look forward towards the economic stability of both countries”, he emphasized, while suggesting frequent visits of business delegations, single country exhibitions, business-to-business and people-to-people contacts between the two countries.
To a query regarding delays in issuance of visas, he said that time required for issuing visas has been reduced during the past few months while efforts were being made to reduce it further, particularly for the business community as timely issuance of visas to the businessmen and industrialists was a must for strengthening trade relations.
He noted that many Pakistani branded items were very popular in Bangladesh and the trend is likely to continue whereas any proposal by KCCI to further improve penetration of Pakistani branded products into the Bangladeshi market will surely be conveyed to the authorities in Dhaka.
Earlier, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, while welcoming the High Commissioner of Bangladesh, paid glowing tribute to Suhrab Hossain for his dedicated efforts towards improving the brotherly and friendly relations between the two countries.
He said that KCCI was keen to further strengthen trade ties and exploring new bilateral trade prospects with Bangladesh as Pakistan’s improved relations and enhanced trade with regional countries would surely help in dealing with the economic crisis and ensure prosperity in the entire region.
Commenting on Pakistan-Bangladesh economic relations, SVP KCCI said that both countries share strong bonds of religion and the legacy of a common struggle of Independence. Pakistani investors have invested billions of dollars in Bangladesh’s garment, leather and textile sectors in the last few years, giving way to healthy economic relations between the two regional countries.
“During Fiscal Year 2014-15, Pakistan exported goods worth $689 million to Bangladesh while its imports were recorded at $54 million, indicating the total trade volume of US$743 million”, he added.
Zia Ahmed Khan also stressed the need to enhance linkages between KCCI and its counterpart chambers in Bangladesh in order to pave way for improved trade relations between the two countries.