KARACHI - Consul General of Malaysia, Herman Hardynata Bin Ahmad on Friday said that his country was keen to enhance trade and investment ties with Pakistan and efforts were underway to open a trade office in Karachi and commencing direct flights from Kualalumpur.
An 18-member Malaysian trade delegation, comprising representatives from food, agriculture, cosmetics, textiles and other sectors, will be arriving in Karachi next week to explore possibilities of enhancing trade ties, he informed during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
The consul general said that Malaysian trade office will be activated in Karachi by the end of the year and presence of Malaysian trade representative would result in improving trade ties with the business community of Karachi which is very important to Malaysia.
A Malaysian Airline will also be commencing direct flights between Kualalumpur and Karachi for promoting trade ties and also opening up tourism opportunities, he further said, adding that efforts were being made to timely complete all the formalities for the direct flights by the end of this year.
Referring to Pakistan Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), he said that FTA between the two countries was being refreshed by adding more tradable items in the lists which would help increasing trade volume between the two brotherly countries. Herman Hardynata urged the business community to take advantage of the immense opportunities of exporting goods to Malaysia as a lot of goods being manufactured in Karachi would find a very good market in Malaysia.
On the matter of visa-free access to Malaysia, the Envoy said that visa free facility was usually a reciprocal arrangement between countries so if Malaysia and Pakistan mutually agree, the visa free facility can be arranged. Currently, all the visa applications for visiting Malaysia are processed within 48 hours and even earlier than that in case of emergency, he informed. President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, in his remarks, stressed on enhancing trade volume of the two countries and said that the bilateral trade volume was far below its full potential as Pakistan’s exports to Malaysia were just around $300 million. He pointed out that Pakistan’s trade volume with the ASEAN bloc was around $9 billion while Pakistan and ASEAN countries could further deepen cooperation in various areas such as transport, energy, communications, information technology and agricultural research.
“Pakistan can learn from the Malaysian Tourism Model as we have tremendous potential in the tourism sector,” he said and also highlighted potential for joint ventures and investment in the areas of Islamic Finance, energy, low-cost housing, infrastructure development, telecommunications, and education. Tariq Yousuf extended full support and cooperation to Malaysian CG for forthcoming visit of Malaysian trade delegation.