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Australia pledges to extend sector-specific cooperation to Pakistan

Australia pledges to extend sector-specific cooperation to Pakistan

LAHORE: Australian High Commissioner Peter Heyward pledged to extend sector-specific cooperation to Pakistan in its bid to increase the volume of bilateral trade that has yet to touch one billion dollar mark.

The Australian High Commissioner was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar presented the address of welcome while the other speakers included LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, former President Mian Muzaffar Ali, former Senior Vice President Abdul Basit, Executive Committee Members Mian Tariq Rehman, Mian Zahid Javaid, Khawaja Shahzeb Akram, Shoaib Zahid Malik, former Executive Committee members Syed Muhammad Umair, Muhammad Haroon, Rehmatullah Javaid and Jamil A Naz.

The Australian diplomat said that a tremendous potential exists between the two countries and should be explored through exchange of delegations and joint ventures. He said that Australia has the potential for investment in specialised sectors like livestock and agriculture.

He said that Pakistani textiles also have good prospects in the Australian market, therefore, Pakistani businessmen should focus on this market to avail the opportunity.

Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that Australia was doing over $ 500 billion business with the world while the volume of its business with Pakistan is just over $ 800 million and the situation calls for more interaction in term of bilateral economic relations.

The LCCI President said Pakistan’s imports from Australia are $ 651 million while exports are far less than $ 200 million and this is an area that should be focused on exclusively.

He said that although, the exports have registered an increase of about $ 30 million as compared to exports in 2010 but the increase is negligible.