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SC Media Centre - All Pakistan Business Forum

All Pakistan Business Forum lauds removal of non-tariff trade-barriers with Iran This initiative will lead to further talks on a 'Free-trade Agreement'

Karachi: April 5, 2016 - As Pakistan and Iran have recently decided to remove the Non-Tariff barriers in bilateral trade and begin talks on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the 'All Pakistan Business Forum' (APBF) has expressed its appreciation for this valuable initiative. These deliberations are aimed at strengthening the business relations and optimize the trade potential between the two friendly countries, through facilitation at the borders.

Both the neighboring states have also agreed to work on issuing long-term multiple-entry visas to businessmen and increasing direct air flights to boost the trade prospects, especially encouraging the trade of perishable items.

Pakistan's Minister of Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan and Iranian Minister of Mining, Trade and Industry Engr. M Reza Nematzadeh held a meeting and addressed the trade and investment session of the "Pak-Iran Joint Business Forum". The two ministers termed the signing of 5-year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan (2016-2021) as the beginning of a new era, which provides a great opportunity for the two nations to enhance economic cooperation to new heights.

Khurram Dastgir stated that; The proposed measures also include; Beginning of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement, holding of single country exhibitions in each other's country, visits of delegations, regular meetings of committees for Joint Border Trade, reactivation of Joint Business Council, opening of additional international border crossing points and establishment of border markets. Various fresh avenues will be explored to enhance bilateral trade to $5 billion in five years.

Nematzadeh informed the audience that; "Iran will hold a trade and investment exhibition in Pakistan in September 2016. The private sector of both countries should take the lead in strengthening bilateral relations in all sectors, including; Agriculture, engineering and the minerals sectors that offer tremendous scope. Export of services such as transportation, financial, communication, insurance and IT also promise great mutual benefits. Iran desires to participate in the privatization programme of Pakistan by investing in the entities, where Iran can offer its special expertise.

Majority of the issues of the traders will be resolved with the implementation of TIR Convention, to which Pakistan has recently acceded. Iran has also offered facilitation in Pakistan's transit trade, through Iran, to the Central Asian Republics and Russia, where the demand for Pakistani food and agricultural products is consistently increasing.

The President of APBF - Mr. Ibrahim Quraishi, welcomed the signing of MoU on Five-Year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan between Pakistan and Iran, and stated that; "Despite huge trade potential, Pak-Iran bilateral trade has remained low, because the non-tariff barriers were quite high. Iran used to have heavy customs duty on products of Pakistan's interest like textiles. The import processes were complicated, there was a lack of enabling infrastructure, like; poor rail, road and air links. It is heartening to see a robust initiative with a progressive and friendly country like Iran. APBF is consistently striving to enhance Pakistan's portfolio of exports."

The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) is a vibrant business association which promotes and protects the interests of the business community and a wide range of industries in Pakistan. It also advises reforms to the Government sector, regarding policy formulation, regulatory realignments and implementation in the commercial and industrial sectors of the economy. Over the years, APBF has been consistently playing a positive role in elevating the standards and facilitation of business activity in Pakistan.

All Pakistan Business Forum' hosts Italian Ambassador and delegates for Industry visits and B2B meetings

Karachi: March 21, 2016 - The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) recently held a meeting with the Italian Ambassador accompanied with Italian business delegation, to discuss ways to promote & diversify trade relations between the two friendly countries. The Italian Ambassador to Pakistan H.E Stefano Pontecorvo along with the Delegates also went for a tour of the Sunder Industrial Estate (SIE). The Italian delegation was informed that; despite several challenges, the economy of Pakistan offers tremendous business opportunities for foreign investors and progressive entrepreneurs. As the country's economic indicators continue to improve, many international investors are already showing great interest in the various industrial sectors of Pakistan.

Besides the Italian Ambassador - Mr. Stefano Pontecorvo and the First Secretary - Ms. Elena Claudia, the business delegation from Italy comprised of; Dr David Dominate - Secretary General of AICE, Mr. Pierantonio Cantoni - International Business Promotion AICE and Fres-Co - General Manager of Packaging System at Tianjm Co Ltd. The AICE delegation represented the pioneering business association in Italy, spanning all commercial and industrial sectors, and showing interest in partnerships in Pakistan's Pharmaceutical, Machinery, Fertilizer, Traditional commodities and many other sectors.

The Italian delegation appreciated the robust business opportunities available in Pakistan and discussed various aspects in detail. Later they also visited the Tetra Pack Plants, CHT (Pvt) Ltd, Ali Corporation and Tepo Corporation (HOIST) manufacturing facilities, where they appreciated the Quality Standards and Health & Safety arrangements. The Italians Delegation invited the APBF members to visit Italy, where they can have direct interactions with the Italian business community and find opportunities of bilateral trade

The President of APBF - Mr. Ibrahim Quraishi highlighted the numerous opportunities for boosting investments, enabling technological collaborations and providing market-access, to derive mutual benefits for both countries. He thanked the President of Sunder Industrial Estate - Haroon Arshad and other officials for their warm welcome and the insightful tour, which also provided valuable information on the Punjab Industrial Estate, the Government's initiatives and the incentives regarding investment.

The Italian Ambassador stated that; An MOU has already been signed between Italian Embessey in Pakistan and APBF to increase trade and setup B2B meetings for Joint ventures. APBF will be part of Pakistani delegation that will be making a "Country Presentation" in Italy on 5th of April in the presence of the Italian Foreign Minister and the Pakistani Commerce Minister. President APBF Ibrahim Qureshi will also be presenting at the conference the opportunities that exist between the a Private sector of two countries for joint ventures.

The president of APBF - Ibrahim Qureshi appreciated these efforts and said that; "Our goal is simple; "Inspiring business leaders to help build a prosperous Pakistan". The Italian Ambassador has taken exemplary initiatives and we greatly appreciate his sincere efforts."

APBF is a vibrant business association, with high-profiled participation from many dynamic enterprises, associations and institutions. It is working with the government of Pakistan to identify and engage the most suitable and credible, international partners for rapid development in the country. APBF seeks to ensure that these collaborations should provide the right mix of financial resources and technological expertise. It promotes and protects the interests of the business community and industry, besides playing an advisory role for the government of Pakistan, regarding policy formulation, regulatory realignments and implementation in the commercial and industrial sectors. APBF has been consistently inspiring the business community to play a key role in national development, by elevating the performance standards and facilitating robust business activities.