KARACHI: Mr. Nguyen Xuan Luu, Ambassador of Vietnam, while commenting on Pakistan-Vietnam bilateral trade and investment ties, stated that the forthcoming visit of a business delegation from Vietnam to Karachi and Business-to-Business meetings with their counterparts at Karachi Chamber scheduled to be held on August 12, 2015, will surely help in improving the existing trade ties between the two countries.
Vietnam fully realizes and lays special emphasis on the significance of Karachi city which acts as the hub of all economic and trading activities of the country which was the key reason why Vietnamese delegation will initially be arriving in Karachi to meet KCCI members and then leave for Islamabad to hold similar meetings, the Vietnamese Ambassador added while speaking at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber on Monday.
President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Senior Vice President KCCI Mohammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, Former President KCCI Majyd Aziz, Chairman Diplomatic Affairs Sub-Committee Naeem Sharif and KCCI Managing Committee members were present at the meeting.
Mr. Nguyen Xuan Luu, Ambassador of Vietnam further underscored the need to explore opportunities for enhancing trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and Vietnam, particularly between the business communities of Karachi and Vietnam.
To a query about Vietnamese visa policy, the Ambassador said that Vietnam’s visa policy was more or less liberal and the visas were being issued within seven days whereas Vietnamese government has also granted visa exemptions only to its strategic partners including UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and others.
In order to improve trade between Pakistan and Vietnam, the Ambassador stressed the need to regularly exchange visits of trade delegations. In this regard, he also asked the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organize visit of a trade delegation to Vietnam which would bring business communities closer to each other.
Earlier while welcoming the Vietnamese Ambassador, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra informed that the Karachi Chamber was working actively to resolve the grievances being faced by the business and industrial community by taking up their issues at the provincial and federal levels, besides playing its due role in striving hard towards enhancing Pakistan’s imports and exports.
He pointed out that bilateral trade relations between Vietnam and Pakistan in recent years have improved considerably and Pakistan was Vietnam’s largest tea importer. During Fiscal Year 2015, Pakistan exported goods to Vietnam of worth $222.92 million as against $206.54 million in the previous year showing mere surge of 0.07 percent. The goods imported by Pakistan from Vietnam stood at $122.5 million as against imports of $ 94.01 million in the previous Fiscal Year 2013 thereby showing growth of 30 percent, he added.
He was of the view that there was a huge potential for Vietnam and Pakistan to further enhance the multifaceted cooperation, such as in the areas of trade and investment, IT and software industry, agriculture, culture and education. Although various steps have been taken by trade authorities of both Pakistan and Vietnam in the past few years to increase trade but lot more needs to be done, he added.
He advised that the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam should sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry which should focus on facilitating trade and sharing trade-related information.
Iftikhar Vohra also invited the Vietnamese business and industrial community to densely participate in next year’s My Karachi Exhibition which will provide an excellent opportunity to Vietnamese businessmen and investors to showcase and sell their products and create strong linkages with the business community of Karachi by holding B2B meetings in a cordial atmosphere.
Senior Vice President KCCI Mohammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, on the occasion, was fairly optimistic that visit of Vietnamese Ambassador, followed by Business-to-Business meetings with a high-powered delegation from Vietnam to be held at KCCI will go a long way and result in furthering the existing trade volume between the two countries.
He was of the view that Vietnam was a promising market for Pakistani goods and raw material while the Vietnamese business community can also benefit from Pakistan’s abundant natural resources and talent. The project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is likely to open up many investment opportunities for foreign investors while the gradually improving perception about Pakistan has created an enabling environment in which the Vietnamese businessmen can also benefit from the situation, he added.