LAHORE: A high-profile 20-member delegation of Azerbaijan had B2B meetings with their Pakistani counterparts and agreed to begin joint ventures in fruit, vegetables, textile, food, farming, packaging, restaurants & hotels and various other sectors. The LCCI acting President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan and Ambassador of Azerbaijan Ali Alizada were also present on the occasion. They were of the view that B2B meetings between the businessmen of Pakistan and Azerbaijan would help strengthen trade and economic ties between the two countries.
The Ambassador said that Azerbaijan had always supported Pakistan at all international fora. He said that growing cooperation between two countries at economic matters and defence front is a good sign. He informed the participants that another high-profile delegation would also visit Pakistan in the start of March. He called for identification of trade and investment opportunities to exploit potential exist in the two countries. He said that Azerbaijan is keen to strengthen trade & economic ties with Pakistan. He said that joint efforts from the business community of both sides can help tap huge potential exist in both countries. He said that bilateral trade between the two countries could be flourished through exchange of trade delegations and holding of single country exhibitions.
The LCCI Acting President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan said that despite the fact that both Pakistan and Azerbaijan have good diplomatic relations and enjoying strong bonds of Islamic brotherhood but these are not translated in stronger bilateral trade relations. From 2013 to 2015, the values of total exports of Pakistan to Azerbaijan were recorded just as dollar 50 million, dollar 28 million and dollar 42 million respectively. So far as the imports from Azerbaijan to Pakistan are concerned, these are virtually negligible.
He said that that Pakistani products are in great demand in Azerbaijan and many items are transported or delivered by Irani businessmen to Azerbaijan that is why these trade figures do not reflect the actual trade.
In this context, it becomes very important that the business communities of both countries must interact with each other on regular basis so that direct trade links could be established. Similarly, the commercial sections of our respective embassies have to play some positive role in this connection. They should share market survey reports with their national chambers on regular basis.
The LCCI Acting President said that since Iran comes in between Pakistan and Azerbaijan, so, both countries should make efforts for signing transit trade agreement. Such arrangements help avoid routine taxes and avail preferential treatment. That is how we can easily exchange goods via Iran which will be much beneficial for two way trade.
He said that businessmen of the both countries should start joint ventures in pharmaceuticals, fresh fruits & vegetables, fruit juices, sugar & confectionery, cotton, chemical products, cosmetics and furniture etc.