LAHORE-The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Wednesday organised a prestigious ceremony to mark the completion of 50 years of the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and UAE.

Ambassador of UAE Hammad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi was the chief guest while LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir, Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan, Vice President Haris Ateeq and Executive Committee members were present on the occasion.The ambassador said that Pakistan had played a pivotal role in the development of United Arab Emirate and UAE gives utmost importance to its trade and economic relations with Pakistan.

He said that Pakistani businessmen should avail trade and investment opportunities in UAE. He said that the private sectors of the two countries should explore new avenue for cooperation. He said that the both countries have always stood by each other in every hour of difficulty. He said that the challenges always bring new opportunity. He said that UAE will fully support Pakistan for the rehabilitation of flood victims. He said that UAE is setting up a training institute in Pakistan to produce skilled labour. On the occasion, a cake cutting ceremony was also held.

LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir said that in this wonderful journey of 50 years, the credit goes to Excellency Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan who being the first President of the United Arab Emirates laid down the foundation for such deep and time tested relations.

He said that LCCI has also established UAE Trade Facilitation Centre in LCCI with the aim to further strengthen trade and economic relations. We are glad that our mutual ties are well reflected in sizeable trade volume and cooperation in various fields including defence sector. We recognize the importance of UAE as one of the most important economies of Middle East. It has a rich culture and heritage that reflects traditional Arab and Islamic values.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that UAE holds a unique position in the world because of its incredibly high number of expats or immigrants and surprisingly its population is made up of over 200 nationalities all across the globe.

He said that Dubai is one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world which makes it a truly unique place to visit or live. This city showcases a multitude of moods with a sandy coast, amusement parks, shopping malls, tall structures, artificial islands and world class cuisines.

The LCCI President said that UAE and Pakistan are major economic and trading partners. Among the top importing and exporting countries for Pakistan, UAE comes at 2nd and 6th places respectively.

He said that during last two years i.e. 2020 and 2021, the volume of trade between Pakistan and UAE increased from 5.6 billion dollars to 8.6 billion dollars. Pakistan’s exports inched up from 1.1 billion dollars in 2020 to 1.2 billion dollars in 2021 while imports from UAE jumped from 4.5 billion dollars to 7.4 billion dollars in the same period. The balance of trade has traditionally been in favour of UAE and over the years the gap in mutual imports and exports is consistently increasing. We are keen to close this gap through enhancing our exports to UAE. He anticipated that UAE Trade Facilitation Center can be utilized for this purpose.

He said that Pakistan is striving to recover from the prevailing economic challenges. There is dire need to expand our scope of economic cooperation. I hope that under your leadership, the investors in UAE would consider Pakistan as their preferred destination to make investment in the potential sectors like minerals & mining, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, processed food, financial services and retail sector etc.