Like No Other Bloc $8.03 Trillion SCO Trade OffersEnormous Export Potential

Karachi (PR): Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI& Chairman of Pakistan Chapter of SCO Business Council, has emphasized that Pakistan must aggressively promote its trade, investment and economic ties with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations; as the formidable bloc has a cumulative GDP in upwards of $23.5 trillion and their total trade volume is $8.03 trillion.

Additionally, SCO members comprise of approximately 42 percent of world population; 23 percent of global land mass; 25 percents hare in the gross domestic product (GDP) of the world and accounts for 32 percent of Pakistan’s total trade at present.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh specifically pointed out the need to establish currency swap mechanism to capitalize on the true trade potential with the SCO member countries; and, at the same time, stabilize Pak Rupee through taking the pressure off the meager dollar reserves.

It is pertinent to note that, representing Pakistan, Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh was speaking to the high-profile SCO Business Council’s Board Meeting as its country chief for Pakistan. The board meeting was attended by the representatives of economic giants like China, Russia, India and a number of Central Asian countries.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh apprised that his will mean broadening of export markets, becoming part of major supply routes of the world, major joint ventures & industrial collaborations, transfers of technology & knowledge and foreign direct investment (FDI) by major retail, energy, industrial, construction, telecommunications groups & conglomerates from SCO countries.

President FPCCI noted that Pakistan has many close & strategic allies in SCO; and, these bilateral & multilateral relations should be translated into commercial & economic relations through people-to-people, business-to-business and chamber-to-chamber relations; and, joint trade promotion activities. He added that an economic bloc with a GDP of $23.5 trillion can uplift Pakistan out of all its economic shortcomings.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh highlighted that Pakistan has implemented land-based logistics convention, i.e. TIR and is looking to forward to expand and integrate with SCO alliance’s land-based trade as SCO offers enormous potential for Pakistani exports in goods. He offered to collaborate on regional trade exhibitions and exchange of trade delegations. Pakistan can multiply exports of its world-class products & services to SCO countries; namely, value-added textiles; IT & ITeS services; surgical instruments; sports goods; cultural artifacts; rice, fruits & vegetables and precious stones & minerals. The time has come that we should look east and expand, enrich and diversify our trade, investments and economic relations with the new & untapped markets, he added.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, immediate past President FPCCI, identified three major areas of cooperation with SCO: (i) regional trade as no effective integration into an economic alliance is fruitful without regional trade (ii) setting up banking channels for commercial transactional procedures (iii) cooperation in dealing with climate change and exchange of early-warning information on catastrophes & damage mitigation.


Brig Iftikhar Opel, SI (M), Retd.

Secretary General