(Karachi P.R. 8th Sep, 2016) Shaikh Khalid Tawab, Sr. Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) expressed his serious concern on low level of trade among OIC countries which is just 19 percent of total trade of OIC countries despite close geographical proximity, religious and cultural ties and similarities and available of natural and manmade resources. He added that the Muslim countries have enormous resources and potentials to succeed, but the task is too translating these potential into real asset. Promotion of economic linkage within the Muslim communities by creating opportunities could help generate greater flow of capital from within and beyond the Islamic world.
He indicated that the OIC bloc is the largest bloc in the world in term of number of countries; represented one fourth of total land with 22 percent of the world population. The share of OIC member states in global GDP is only 8 percent and they constitute nearly 2 percent of world trade.
The Sr. Vice President further stated that there is great need to promote integration amongst the Islamic Countries in the era of globalization and absence of unity among the OIC Countries is the biggest challenge in the present uncertain political and economic situation in Islamic countries. He further stipulated the rising of consumption of Halal products has created a big market for Muslim in the world because of safety, hygiene, and ethical quality. This is a big opportunity for Muslim nations to explore this market particularly from non-Muslim nations through competitiveness, innovation and inventions. Moreover, the removal of tariff and non-tariff bearers like visa restriction and opening of banking channels can create economic integration among countries. He pointed out that the private sector of Islamic countries is unable to move freely amongst the OIC countries despite having huge potential of trade and investment.
He also stated that Pakistan is very keen to expand its trade with OIC countries where there is a huge potential of rice, mangoes, dairy products, fresh vegetable and fruits sports goods, surgical instruments, pharmaceutical products, carpet, leather products and textile items. The present share of OIC in trade of Pakistan (32 %) is unsatisfactory. He suggested that Pakistan needs to send fact-finding missions for exploring business opportunities. For this purpose, Pakistan can utilize embassies or trade missions in those countries with the objectives of exploring long-term sustainable export market. He urged the government to direct all embassies of Pakistan to open a display centre in their premises for showcasing exportable products of Pakistan.
Maher Alam Khan
Acting Secretary General