Pakistan urged to increase trade volume with Argentina
Strong liaison between chambers of commerce and industry and business institutions of Argentina and Pakistan will help enhance the mutual trade volume, which currently stands very low, said Ambassador of Pakistan to Argentina Dr Khalid Ejaz.
Talking to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) president, he said that the South American market had been ignored for the last five decades, while other countries, particularly India, had a strong presence there. He pointed out that Pakistani Basmati rice, sports goods, textile products and bed sheets had a strong demand in Argentina, therefore, Pakistani business community should avail itself of the opportunity. He revealed that a virtual exhibition was also being planned.
Stressing that strong ties between business communities of the two countries were his top priority, the envoy added that Pakistani businessmen should identify new products for trade to ensure good presence in Argentina’s market.
Also speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that joint ventures, bridging communication gap, market surveys and identification of new tradable items were some of the important tools which could take mutual trade between Pakistan and Argentina to the desired level.
The LCCI president said that Pakistan and Argentina enjoyed cordial diplomatic relations based on mutual respect and understanding but those should reflect in mutual trade and economic ties as well.
“Total volume of trade between the two countries stood at around $140 million in 2019. The balance of trade is in favour of Argentina as our imports from Argentina are around $108 million, while our exports are merely $31 million,” the LCCI president added.
Misbah said that considering the size of global imports of Argentina, which were in excess of $49 billion, concerted efforts were needed to break the jinx of such low level of exports. Pakistan’s average exports to Argentina have remained below $50 million over the last 10 years.
He pointed out that Pakistan’s exports to Argentina were heavily concentrated in textile. “Our major imports from Argentina include soybean oil, dried vegetables, pharmaceuticals, tubes, pipes, iron and steel products. Pakistani business community needs to explore the Argentine market to be able to expand the range of our export products.”
He emphasised that there was a considerable potential to enhance exports of surgical instruments, sports goods, processed food and automotive parts to Argentina. “There is also a great potential for both countries to enter into joint ventures in agricultural technologies, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy and tourism.”