LAHORE: Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina Sakib Foric has said that Bosnia is a small but developed country and is a road to European Union. Pakistan is an amazing country and immediately acknowledged Bosnia but cordial and brother relations are not seemed in the mutual trade of around just 30 million dollars.
He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid presented the address of welcome while the LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rashid, Honorary Consul of bosnia Danish Iqbal, Honorary Consul of Spain Zaheer Islam, Sohail Lashari, Mian Muhammad Nawaz and other members were also present on the occasion.
“Pakistan is peace keeper and feels us very deeply. Pakistan have done what a brother can do but these brotherly relations should also be translated into trade & economic ties”, Bosnian Ambassador said and added that at present only 37 Pakistani companies are operating in Bosnia.
He said that Bosnian government has given immense benefits to the businessmen. There is a tax exemption for five years for new company while government also help establishment of new company. He said that company established in Bosnia can do business with European Union. He said that electricity is cheaper and taxes are low in Bosnia as compared to EU. He invited Pakistani businessmen to join hands with their Bosnian counterparts and explore trade and investment opportunities in Bosnia where they can enjoy number of benefits.
The Ambassador, who spent well over an hour at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, invited the Pakistani businessmen to visit the country for having first hand knowledge about the available opportunities and initiating joint ventures with their Bosnian counterparts.
The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said that Pakistan and Bosnia have good brotherly ties based on common religion and sound diplomatic relations. However, the trade figures of recent years do not represent these relations at all.
He said that Lahore Chamber of Commerce has been taking keen interest in projecting the trade potential of Central Asian Republics. China-Central Asia Corridor is one of the five corridors being established under Belt & Road Initiative. He said that this initiative includes network of connectivity, industrialization, trade promotion, energy generation, and much more. The Belt & Road Initiative promises unparalleled economic benefits to all the trading partners.
He said it is high time for Pakistan and Bosnia to establish strong linkages that can play instrumental role in materializing trade and investment initiatives expected to emerge due to these developments.
Talking about trade between two countries, the LCCI President said that recent years only show dismal trade performance and we must make special efforts to turn around this situation. The flow of trade between Pakistan and Bosnia was as low as dollar 196 thousand in 2016 which elaborates the whole account. Bosnia is the 74th largest export economy of the world and out of its total imports amounting to dollar 9 billion, the share of Pakistan is insignificant.