Lahore, November 01, 2017 (PPI-OT):Ambassador of Lebanon Mona El Tannir has called for well tailored sector specific measures to cement mutual trade ties. While talking to the LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid, Vice President Zeeshan Khalil and Executive Committee Members here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ambassador said that businessmen of both countries should focus each other’s market as Pakistan is an emerging economy while Lebanon offers investors a wide range of investment opportunities in all sectors of the economy, especially in tourism, agriculture, and energy.
Furthermore, Lebanon represents a point of entry to a large regional market. She said that Embassy of Lebanon in Pakistan is facilitating the business community for closer and strong trade and economic ties between Lebanon and Pakistan. She urged the Pakistani businessmen to visit Lebanon to identify the trade and investment opportunities.
The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said that the balance of trade is in favour of Pakistan but unfortunately there is decreasing trend in bilateral trade relations. The trade figures revealed that in 2014, the volume of two-way trade was just dollar 34 million which fell down by 21% and by 23% in next two years. He said that exports of Pakistan were to the tune of dollar 30 million in 2014 which contracted by 9% and 20% in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The same trend was witnessed in imports made from Lebanon to Pakistan.
“We need to make joint efforts to reverse this trend and match with the actual potential of trade. Lebanon market holds a non-traditional status for Pakistan. The best way is to let the private sector representatives interact with each other on regular basis”, the LCCI President added and said that efforts should be made to market Pakistan as a vibrant and growing economy. He said that the Lebanese investors interested in finding new avenues and markets should be guided to invest in Pakistan. We need to properly introduce comparative advantages including geographic and economic advantages in a big way in Lebanon.
Malik Tahir Javaid said Single country exhibitions of Pakistan and Lebanon should be organized in either country respectively to promote their products. Trade delegations should be arranged on reciprocal basis to facilitate continuous liaison between the business communities of the two countries. He said that Pakistan is already exporting cotton, man-made staple fiber, textile made-ups, articles of plastics, rice and cutlery items etc., to Lebanon.
He said that many areas of trade and economic cooperation can be identified like construction, consumer goods and consulting services including engineering, doctors and para medical staff, labour, teachers and IT professionals etc. The LCCI President said that major bottleneck in promotion of trade between the two countries is lack of timely information about trade and business opportunities in either country. Our respective embassies have to come up with innovative solutions bridge the communication gap.
“Lahore Chamber believes in trade diplomacy and for that purpose, we always like to maintain liaison with heads of foreign missions in Pakistan. We feel honoured that among the diplomatic community, LCCI is greatly respected. The participation of Honourable Ambassadors and High Commissioners in LCCI’s Ambassadors Dinner which is regularly organized every year in Islamabad, gives us more confidence and encouragement to get engaged with them time to time. We look forward to interacting with you more often. Both Pakistan and Lebanon are members of OIC. Despite the fact that Pakistan and Lebanon enjoy good diplomatic relations based on mutual trust, the volume of trade between the two countries continues to remain too meagre”, the LCCI President concluded.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan