KARACHI: Pakistan offers a lot of opportunities for foreign investors, Belgian Ambassador said. Peter Claes, speaking at Belgian Companies’ catalogues exhibition, said the embassy is encouraging Belgian investors and businessmen to visit Pakistan with a view to explore more business opportunities. Belgium is the sixth-largest European importer of Pakistani goods, and the bilateral trade between the two is approaching US$898.33 million. During the last fiscal year, Pakistan exported goods worth $470.57 million to Belgium, while imports amounted to $427.76 million.
The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) organised the exhibition in collaboration with the Economic and Commercial Representation Embassy of Belgium to promote bilateral trade between the two countries, a statement said.
In the recent past, exports to Belgium increased slightly, but the trade is likely to improve in the future, Claes said.
He said importance of Belgium on the back of its central position and location in the European Union calls for more integrated efforts that focus on exchange of trade delegations, institutional contacts among the chambers of commerce and participations in trade fairs.
Commenting on visa policy, the envoy said Belgium is a part of European Union and it has to follow certain rules and regulations. He added businessmen and industrialists from Pakistan are fully assisted and facilitated in getting visa.
Claes assured his full cooperation to the Karachi Chamber to strengthen the existing business relations between the two countries.
Trade Commissioner of Belgium Abid Hussain said the exhibition characterises the ever-expanding economic relations between the two countries.
Hussain said Belgium is the Pakistan’s fifth largest trading partner. “Belgium is a viable and trustworthy partner with solid credentials in the industrial and business world. The importance we attach to our relations with Pakistan is quite evident in our approach,” he said.
The trade commissioner invited Pakistan’s businessmen and industrialists to explore the possibility of investing in Belgium by setting up distribution centers or warehouses, which will enable them to access the European market more effectively. Belgium is a gateway to Germany, France, Holland and others.
President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra said the KCCI advocates solid economic relations with EU countries, especially Belgium.
The trade balance remained slightly in favor of Pakistan; however, there is still a room available for further trade enhancement between the two countries. Pakistan can also benefit from Belgian expertise in engineering, automobile sector, chemical industry, electrical and electronic sector, Vohra said.
Underscoring the need to change the negative perception about Pakistan, he urged the ambassador to invite more Belgian companies to invest in Pakistan, especially in the energy and textile sectors.