FAISALABAD. A multi sector trade mission from Belgium will visit Pakistan in 2018 while another group of Belgian buyers will also participate in Expo to be organized by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan in Karachi, said Mr. Frederic Verheyden ambassador of Belgium.
Addressing the business community of Faisalabad in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today, he said that Faisalabad based businessmen could be facilitated to have meetings with them to finalize their deals.
He said that Belgium is the geographical heart of European Union and hence, it’s Member States and it is the Capital of Europe. “ This small country is a great transit point allowing its ports in Antwerp and Zeebrugge to feed the European market of almost 500 million consumers by providing a fast and efficient cargo handling infrastructure”, he added.
He said that the Belgian productivity is amongst the highest in the world. “Originality, creativity and high value technology have enabled Belgium to develop its production structures on modern lines”, he said and added that this in turn favors the birth and development of new industries.
Continuing, he said that steel, metallic, mechanical and electric construction, chemical and glass are the historical basis of the country’s prosperity. “Focused on the future, Belgium has also developed its expertise in the fields of telecommunications, software, new materials, bio-technology, aeronautical, petrochemicals, graphics, textile machinery and multi-media etc”, he added.
He said that it is therefore not surprising that Foreign Trade is a key factor in Belgium’s economic development and its exports amount to more than 80% of national GDP. “Although it represents only a small area on the map of the world, Belgium nevertheless accounts for a significant amount of global trade making it in the 10th largest exporting country in the world”, he added.
He said that industrial companies generate two thirds of their turn over through exports. “The figures for the service sector is almost 50%”, he said and added that these rates are among the highest in the world and also indicate why Belgium attracts so many foreign investors.
Giving an overview of the Belgium-Pakistan bilateral trade, Mr. Abid Hussain Trade Counselor said that it shows a steady increase every year. “In 2016, Pakistan’s exports to Belgium reached 406 million Euros, confirming the importance of Belgium as a strategic transit point for the European markets”; he said and told that 73% of Pakistanis exports were textile related.
Earlier, in his address of welcome Mr. Shabbir Hussain Chawla President FCCI underlined the importance of Faisalabad and FCCI and told thatFaisalabad has its own International Airport, largest Agricultural University of Asia, Dry Port, largest Industrial Estate of the province and the largest National Textile University in textile sector. He told that approximately 50 per cent of the total direct and indirect exports of textiles are Faisalabad based. He further told that out of our total bilateral trade of 1.2 billion dollars, Pakistan’s exports to Belgium were US$ 650.637 million in the year 2016, whereas the imports were US$ 572.422 million. He further told that major items of exports to Belgium are Textile Articles, cotton fabric, Synthetic textile, bed-ware, Readymade garments, Hosiery, Apparels & Clothing Accessories while Major Items of Imports are pharmaceuticals, Chemical Industry products, Metals, Plant and Machinery, Plastic and rubber products, Mechanical Appliances and Organic surface active agents etc
He said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is about to be materialized which will provide opportunities to the whole world, for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Pakistan. He said that most precious asset of Pakistan is its productive youth. “Its share in the total population of Pakistan is 45 percent”, he said and added that we must equip them with vocational and technical skills. He hoped that Belgium would support Pakistan in launching technical and skills up-gradation programs for its youth in addition to arranging scholarships for Pakistan students for their education in emerging sciences. He also proposed exchange of information between embassy of Belgium and FCCI on market studies, product demand, business laws and regulations.
A question-answer session was also held in which Mian Javaid Iqbal, Engineer Sohail Bin Rashid and Mr. Muzammal Sultan participated.
Senior Vice President Sheikh Farooq Yousaf offered vote of thanks. He along with nominated vice president FCCI Mr. Usman Rauf also presented FCCI memento to Mr. Frederic Verheyden the Ambassador of Belgium. Similarly Mr. Amjad Ali Amjad executive member FCCI presented FCCI shield to Mr. Abid Husssain Trade Consular of Belgium. Mr. Frederic Verheyden also presented a gift to Mr. Shabbir Hussain Chawla President FCCI.
Later Mr. Frederic Verheyden also formally inaugurated an Exhibition of Catalogues of the Belgium Companies in the board room of FCCI.
FAISALABAD. A group photo of Mr. Frederic Verheyden ambassador of Belgium with Mr. Shabbir Hussain Chawla President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Former presidents, Mian Javaid Iqbal, Engineer Suhail Bin Rahid, Chaudhary Muhammad Nawaz and Mr. Muzammal Sultan are also seen in the picture along with senior vice president Sheikh Farooq Yousaf and Usman Rauf.