Efforts underway to enhance volume of trade between Pakistan & Korea: Korean Envoy

LAHORE:,,, Ambassador of Korea to Pakistan Dr. Song Jong-Hwan has said that all out efforts were being made to enhance interaction between the business doing people of the two countries to increase the volume of two-way trade.

The Korean Ambassador was talking to the LCCI Acting President Mian Tariq Misbah. Korean Counsellor in Islamabad Park Jung-Ho, DG Korea Trade & Investment Promotion Agency Sung Byung Hoon, former LCCI presidents Mian Muzaffar Ali, Irfan Qaiser Sheikh and former Senior Vice President Malik Tahir Javed also spoke while Executive Committee Member Mian Zahid Javed and former EC member Rahmatulla Javed were present on the occasion.

The Ambassador said that a proper sector-specific strategy could identify the challenge coming in the way of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Korea. Korea wants to contribute to the economy of Pakistan by sharing trade-related information. He was optimistic that the trade volume was bound to increase the government of both countries are taking measures to this regard.

He said that the non-availability of required trade-related information was the biggest hurdle in the way of Korean investment in Pakistan.

The diplomat while identifying a number of areas for mutual cooperation said that there was a need for expertise-sharing as both the countries have a lot to learn from each other.

He urged the LCCI to arrange a business delegation to Korea so that Pakistani businessmen could have firsthand knowledge about opportunities there.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Acting President Mian Tariq Misbah said that South Korea has been an important trading partner of Pakistan in Eastern Asian region. It comes at 12th place among the top importing countries and at 17th place among the top exporting countries for Pakistan.

He said that total volume of trade between Pakistan and Korea was around USD 1.26 billion in 2013. It is good to see that both the countries are consistently maintaining it at above USD 1 billion.

Pakistan’s major exports to Korea are beverages & vinegar, cotton, raw hides and skins, copper, fish, salt, sulphur, oil seeds, fruits and sports goods etc.

Pakistan’s imports from Korea include ships & other floating structures, machinery, iron & steel, articles of plastic, electrical equipment, mineral fuels, organic chemicals, tanning & dyeing extracts, pharmaceutical products and a host of other items.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that considering the size of Korean economy which is one of the trillion economies of the world, there is still a lot of room to expand the trade and investment relations between the two countries.

He said that with the consultation and involvement of commercial sections of both the embassies, further items for trading purposes can be identified which can be traded between two countries at much competitive prices. For that purpose, he said, market surveys and latest trends prevailing in both the countries must be shared with the representatives of private sectors.

The LCCI Acting President said that with joint efforts of public and private sector organizations of Pakistan and Korea, the volume of total trade could be doubled.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that both countries have decades old economic relations and experienced good outcomes of joint ventures in various fields like telecommunications, electronics, chemical industry, automobiles industry and construction.

He said that Korean companies are also actively participating in infrastructure projects like highway construction and power generation etc.

While calling for increase in Korean investment in Pakistan, the LCCI Acting President Mian Tariq Misbah said Pakistan is a large market, its strategic location as principal gateway to the Central Asian States and other regional countries offer lot of opportunities for relocation of Korean Industries in Pakistan.

He said that Korean investors can be provided best assistance with regard to assessing Pakistan as a profitable country with a relatively higher degree of return on investment.

He said that Pakistan is located between two economic giants – China and India. The trickledown effect of economic development taking place in the region will certainly promise good fortunes to foreign investors.

Mian Tariq Misbah informed the Korean Ambassador that LCCI had established a world class Mediation Centre with active collaboration of IFC which was inaugurated in August 2012. It is only the beginning of systematic efforts needed for making consistent improvement in investment climate in the country. The business community of surrounding cities of Lahore can benefit from it in case they get into any commercial dispute either locally, nationally or internationally. It is time-saving, flexible and confidential way of finding resolutions.

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