ISLAMABAD-Pak-Africa Business Forum (PABF) Chief Omar Shahid Butt had said that Africa is made up of 54 countries and has an enormous range of opportunities; therefore, trade with the continent must be prioritised.
Africa has abundant raw materials; seventy percent of sub-Saharan Africa is under the age of 30, which is a market dream for companies looking for new consumers and talent, he said in a statement. Omar Shahid Butt said that Africa had a GDP of three trillion dollars, and the land mass of Africa is larger than China, the US, and the EU combined. He added that Africa had a population of 1.2 billion, which has been projected to double in the next thirty years, offering many opportunities for our business community.
The business leader said that Africa offers great scope for the Pakistani pharmaceutical industry, as there are only 375 pharmaceutical companies on the whole continent. It is also a good destination for Pakistani rice exporters, as it is a necessary commodity for which demand is constant on the continent, especially in West Africa. Many people in Africa prefer to consume IRRI-6 (broken rice) grown mostly in Sindh, he said, adding that Africa is also in need of agricultural machinery that can be beneficial to Pakistan.
He said that Gwadar Port is well positioned for trade with Africa, and can be utilised appropriately by increasing trade with Africa, as trade with a dozen Middle Eastern countries will not help utilise the potential of Gwadar. Pakistan can also satisfy its needs by importing many things from Africa at a competitive price, which will help the masses facing high inflation. “We need a firm focus on trade with Africa, for which different steps are needed, including full implementation of the ‘Look Africa Policy’,” he demanded.