Pak-Iraq trade via Gwadar, Basra seaports to further boost bilateral ties

Lafta wants chambers of both countries to play role for boosting trade ties

ISLAMABAD  -  Iraq’s Ambassador to Pakistan Hamid Abbas Lafta has said that Iraq and Paki­stan enjoy the best relationship and that by initiating trade through Gwadar and Basra seaports the relations between the two countries can be heightened to new heights. Both the sides are committed to fostering their multilateral relation­ship and that Pakistani manpower has a vast spectrum in the fields of agriculture, medical and petro-chemical in Iraq. The two countries also enjoy exemplary ties in the field of defence and that Iraq has recently procured a complete package of Super Mushahk from Pakistan.

This has been stated by Iraq’s Ambas­sador to Pakistan Hamid Abbas Lafta while talking to a delegation of ICCI which called on him under the leader­ship of Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, presi­dent Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The ambassador said that both the countries always demonstrate complete harmony at regional and in­ternational forums, adding that Iraq is a country of opportunities with a strong economy, having an annual budget of $110 billion and wants to promote ties with all the countries. He mentioned that although both Pakistan and Iraq are bonded in strong relationships yet the trade relations are at the lowest level which needs to be enhanced and for this purpose the chambers of both the sides can play a significant role.

The envoy further said that the Iraqi government has unveiled its national action plan for the investments and the Pakistani businessmen have to come for­ward to avail these opportunities. He fur­ther said that the doors of his embassy are open for the business community of Paki­stan in particular for the ICCI and that the Embassy will feel pride in sharing Iraq’s business opportunities with the Chamber for the benefit of the business community.

On his part, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari said that de­spite having a huge potential by both the sides, the trade volume is not upto the mark and to overcome the problem direct connectivity between the two brotherly countries was much needed.

He said that along-with other multiple investment opportunities in different areas Pakistan also enjoys the tourism potential especially the northern areas, thereby the Iraqi side must grasp this opportunity also. He added that Islam­abad Chamber of Commerce and Indus­try will chalk out a plan for its participa­tion in the Trade Exhibition to be held in Najaf in the month of June to showcase its products in Iraq to boost business ties between the two countries.

He further said that ICCI was deter­mined to play its role in the promotion of business relations between the two countries. On this occasion, Secretary General UBG Zafar Bakhatwari ex­pressed the hope that the ambassador being a dynamic figure will continue to play his role in furthering the ties be­tween the two countries and that in this connection the bilateral visits of the highest leadership of both the sides will be a momentous one. Executive mem­ber ICCI Ch Mohammad Ali was also part of the delegation.

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