(Karachi P.R. 7th Feb, 2017) Pakistan and Nepal should approach Thai Airways to operate its flights to Karachi and Lahore via Kathmandu in order to facilitate businessmen and establishing people to people contact. This was stated by Mirza Ishtiaq Baig, Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in a meeting with Ms. Sewa Lamsal Adhikari, the Ambassador of Nepal to Pakistan at Federation House, Karachi. Both sides discussed various proposals and suggestion for the promotion of bilateral trade and economic relations and agreed to enhance the interaction between the business community of both the countries by organizing the meeting of Joint Business Council; which were established in 1996, arranging of meetings at commercial level, formulation of trade delegation and participation in trade fairs reciprocally. He emphasized on the early conclusion of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Nepal, in view of the geographically proximity the trade cost between both nations are very high. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Sulman Tufail and Mr. Hameed Akhtar Chadda.
Mr. Ishtiaq Baig further stated that Pakistani products, particularly leather and leather goods, carpets, pharmaceuticals, textiles, pashmina lawn, textile made ups and allied products have great potential in Nepal which need to be marketed properly. He further stated that Pakistan and Nepal have close and cordial relations but their trade relations do not reflect their friendship. The Vice President also informed that the numbers of Pakistani investors are interested to enter into the joint ventures with Nepalese investors.
Ms. Sewa Lamsal Adhikari emphasized the need for exchanging business delegations for enhancing trade and promotion of investment opportunities between Nepal and Pakistan and assured his full support in this regard. She further stated that agriculture and tourism are the main areas where both countries can collaborate. She further added that logistics issues, lack of communication and proper marketing are the main hurdles in the expansion of trade. Nepal is a landlocked country and it is difficult to transport freight. Moreover, she stated that the trade ties have a much higher chance of improving as both the countries are important members of the SAARC, share common international views and enjoy good relations and background. The Ambassador was accompanied by Mr. Prashant Thakur, Commercial Attache and Mr. Mushtaq K. Chhapra, Ho. Consul General.
Maher Alam Khan
Acting Secretary General