Pakistan and Bulgaria can be gateways to Asian and European markets: envoy – Pakistan

LAHORE: Bulgarian Ambassador to Pakistan Ms. Irena Gancheva said Pakistan and Bulgaria may be the most advantageous gateways for each other to enter Asian and European markets respectively.

She was speaking at a meeting at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir delivered the welcome speech and spoke at length about trade and economic relations between the two countries. LCCI Vice-President Haris Ateeq also spoke on the occasion.

The Ambassador said that although the substantial increase in bilateral trade has been observed this year compared to the previous year, there is still plenty of room available. He said the two countries have historic and good diplomatic relations which should be reflected in trade.

She said that the meeting of the Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation will be held next year while there will also be an exchange of trade delegations.

She added that the IT sector in Bulgaria is well established. The country is also full of qualified human resources. She said that there are vast investment opportunities available in Bulgaria which should be exploited by Pakistani businessmen through joint ventures with their Bulgarian counterparts.

LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir said Pakistan and Bulgaria enjoy cordial diplomatic, political and economic relations. He said Bulgaria continued to support Pakistan for GSP Plus status, which is of crucial importance for strengthening Pakistan-EU trade relations.

He said that according to statistics from the State Bank of Pakistan, the total volume of trade between Pakistan and Bulgaria was around $ 44 million in 2019-2020, and increased to $ 115 million in 2020. -21 due to increased imports and exports. During this period, exports increased slightly from $ 30 million in 2019-2020 to $ 37 million in 2020-2021, while imports increased from $ 14 million to $ 78 million over the course of this period. from the same period.

LCCI President said that in the first four months of the current fiscal year (July-October 2021) Pakistan’s exports to Bulgaria amounted to around $ 13 million while imports were amounted to approximately $ 4.6 million.

He said that Bulgaria’s total world trade volume is around $ 67 billion while Pakistan’s share is only $ 115 million. You will agree with me that it does not reflect the real potential of bilateral trade. There is considerable potential to increase the volume of bilateral trade to at least $ 1 billion.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that Pakistan exports bed linen, fabrics, resins, cotton yarns, tobacco, medical devices and rice etc. to Bulgaria and our imports consist of wheat, pulses, worn clothes, tractor parts and raw zinc, etc. .

He said that there is a considerable margin for Bulgaria to increase its imports of citrus fruits, mangoes, rice, value added textiles, dates, furniture and marble, etc. from Pakistan.

He said that the potential areas in which Pakistan and Bulgaria can strengthen their economic cooperation through Joint Ventures (JVs) are information technology, food processing, automotive, animal husbandry, tourism. and agricultural technology.

LCCI Vice President Haris Ateeq said there is a great need to connect the private sectors of both countries to exploit potential opportunities. This can be done through the exchange of export-oriented delegations and participation in trade fairs and exhibitions.

LCCI executive committee members Naeem Hanif, Shamim Akhter, Ahmad Elahi, Shahzad Butt, Mian Ateeq-ur-Rehman, Muhammad Yousaf Shah, Mardan Ali Zaidi, Malik Muhammad Nadeem and former vice-president Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad were also present at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Ambassador Tarek Dahroug said the two countries are making serious efforts to establish a business council to facilitate the business community.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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