ISLAMABAD: On the invitation of the President of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry to visit the SCCI, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Pakistan H.E. Mr. Ishak Latuconsina met the President and the apex members of the Sialkot Chamber on 22 January 2011 in Sialkot. Addressing the distinguished members and leading businessmen of SCCI on this occasion, the Ambassador acknowledged the importance of Sialkot in the economy of Pakistan as the Pakistan's second largest source of foreign exchange earnings through its exports and appreciated its top quality surgical, sports & leather industry and the modern industrial infrastructure. Ambassador Ishak stressed the need to explore the ways to enhance bilateral cooperation to raise the trade volume and further expansion of the existing trade ties between the corporate sectors of Indonesia and Pakistan.
He said that the economic ties and bilateral cooperation between the two countries have been increased significantly during the recent years. He appreciated the active role of the SCCI in encouraging its members to participate in the Hospital Expo in Jakarta in 2010. He said that it is a very positive sign that by every passing year, the participation of companies from Pakistan is increasing in the trade expo in Indonesia. He informed that the total export value from Pakistan to Indonesia during July 2009 to June 2010 increased 33 percent, from US$ 48, 63m in 2008-09 to US$. 72,67m in the fiscal year 2009-10, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics Pakistan, which shows that there is great potential for the Pakistani traders to increase their exports with Indonesia in future especially in the textile and surgical instrument industry. He said that there is a significant increase in the visits of Pakistani businessmen to Indonesia especially from Sialkot, which was 44 persons in 2009 and 78 persons in 2010. The Indonesian envoy asked the Pakistani businessmen to explore the opportunities in the Indonesian market of medical equipments and the sports goods, which are full of bright prospects. He said Indonesia offers large potential for the medical equipment supplies market with an annual growth of 15 to 20 percent.
On this occasion, Ambassador Ishak informed that both the countries have signed the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership (FACEP) on November 24, 2005 and the negotiations are in the final stage for the signing of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to facilitate the business community of both the countries which will also pave the way for Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
He also invited the members of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce to participate in the three important upcoming Indonesian trade exhibitions namely the 6th Indo Leather & Footwear 2011 to be held on 11-14 May 2011, the Hospital Expo on 21-23 October 2011 and the Trade Expo Indonesia 2011 on 19-23 October in Jakarta. He said that the Pakistani products have a good market in Indonesia and assured full cooperation and assistance from the Indonesian Embassy in Islamabad in obtaining visa and other information related to the business development.
Earlier, the President of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mr. Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry in his welcome address thanked the Indonesian Ambassador for visiting SCCI. He said that best cooperation in various fields is in the interest of both the counties for mutual benefit of the two Islamic brotherly countries. He said that major bottleneck in the promotion of trade is lack of timely information about trade and business opportunity in each country and suggested active engagements of the Chambers of Commerce of the two countries as resource base for information on trade. He also pointed out exchange of trade delegation and joint trade exhibitions to promote bilateral trade and requested to reduce tariff rate on import of textile garments and goods from Pakistan. The Presidnet SCCI also briefed the Ambassador about the various industries and projects of SCCI. Later on, the Ambassador also visited a local surgical factory.