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Colombia keen to enhance trade ties with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - Ambassador of Colombia to Pakistan Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra on Thursday said Colombia was interested to enhance trade relations with Pakistan and the best way to achieve this goal was to develop business linkages between the private sectors of both countries.

He said this while exchanging views with business community here at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), a statement issued here said. He said bilateral trade between Pakistan and Colombia was nominal and its main reason was lack of information on both sides about potential areas of mutual cooperation.

The ambassador said chamber of commerce and industry of both countries should sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance B2B linkages that would help in exploring possibilities of enhancing bilateral cooperation in trade and economic fields. He offered his cooperation to facilitate signing of the MoU between trade bodies of both countries.

He said as a first step, both countries should identify top 20 products for bilateral trade and then gradually expand the range of products to enhance two-way trade volume. He said Colombia enjoyed a strategic location in North America and had signed 94 Free Tread Agreements (FTAs) with regional countries, thus enhancing close cooperation with it would help Pakistan in getting better market access to North American region.

Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Khalid Iqbal Malik said the best option for Pakistan and Colombia to enhance bilateral trade was to encourage the frequent exchange of trade delegations to explore all areas of potential cooperation.

He said both countries should focus on organising single country exhibitions and participate in each other's trade fairs, which would help in promoting trade relations. He said Colombia was producing more than 66 percent of its energy through hydropower and it should share its technology and expertise with Pakistan in this field.

He said Colombia was major exporter of oil, coal, coffee, flowers and both countries had the potential to cooperate in many areas including agriculture, textiles, chemicals, minerals, gems and jewelry, technology transfer and infrastructure development. He said Pakistani textile products were known in the international market for quality and Colombia should import textile products from Pakistan.

He assured that the ICCI would consider signing the MoU with Colombian chamber of commerce to explore new avenues of business collaboration between the two countries.

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