FAISALABAD: Dubai Expo-2020 will serve as a stimulus to accelerate the vibrant economic activities in this region by offering extensive investment, marketing and export opportunities to the global investors, said UAE Ambassador Mr. Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salim Alzaabi.
Addressing the business community in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) here today, he expressed satisfaction over the brotherly relations between UAE (United Arab Emirate) and Pakistan and said that Pakistan was the third country that had recognized UAE about 50 years ago. He said that we are going to celebrate 50th anniversary of our relationship this year in a big way.
He said that 1.7 million Pakistanis are working in the UAE. “They are not only contributing their productive role in the economic uplift of UAE but also sending 6 billion dollars foreign remittances to Pakistan”, he added.
He also expressed stratification on the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries and said that about 3 years ago when he took charge, the bilateral trade was 14 billion dollars which is now touching the figure of 17 billion dollars.
He said that Emirates Airlines is operating day and night for the convenience of importers and exporters. “Pakistan is exporting mango and other fruits to fulfill the domestic needs of UAE in addition to sending the same to the other international destinations”, he added.
Regarding corona, he said that the world is facing challenges of food security and we must join hands to meet our food requirements.
He said that the UAE was introducing a golden and green visa policy to attract maximum participation in Dubai Expo-2020. “Under new policy multiple visas would be issued instead of single entry visas to the foreign investors”, he said and assured that the details of golden and green visa policy would be provided very soon to the FCCI for its onward distribution among its members.
He further said that currently UAE visa centers are working in Islamabad and Karachi while a new center would become operational very soon in Lahore. “The investors of UAE could fulfill their needs of manpower through this visa center”, he opined.
He said that both countries enjoy the best cordial relations despite sporadic rumors. He said that he has good relations with his Pakistani counterparts and immediately contacted the concerned counterpart to clarify the situation.
He contradicted that UAE has suspended air flights from Pakistan to Dubai due to the threat of Delta Virus and said that actually this step was taken on the request of the Pakistan government.
He further said that Pakistani investors should also avail the facility of golden and green visa to establish their links with the global markets through UAE.
He said that he will also invite Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit the Dubai Expo-2020 while Chief Minister Punjab has also agreed to participate in it.
Earlier, Engineer Hafiz Ihtisham Javed President FCCI introduced Faisalabad and Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He said that this city contributes 33 % share in overall exports and 65 % in textile exports of the country.
He said that this city is strategically located in the heart of Pakistan which is flanked by two motorways passing from its east and west. “Through these motorways, we could send export consignments to China, Afghanistan and Central Asian states in the north and through Gwadar and Karachi in the south”, he added.
About Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development & Management Company (FIEDMC), he said that it is developing the largest industrial estate of Punjab. “It has launched three projects including Value Addition City, M3 Industrial City and Allama Iqbal Special Economic Zone which is also a part of CPEC”, he said.
He further said that 72 global industrialists are establishing their units in Faisalabad including Turkish, Chinese and others in addition to the local investors. “They are setting up a wide range of industrial units including crockery, ceramics, plastic, pharmaceutical and steel, etc.”, he added.
He said that the textile sector is the mainstay of our economy as we have local raw material and cheap labor.
Quoting the recent visit of the Australian High Commissioner, he said that Australia was interested in launching joint ventures in food products which could also be exported to Dubai.
He said that UAE has expertise in the steel and construction sector and we could launch joint ventures in these fields which will create a large number of new job opportunities for the Pakistanis.
He was optimistic that the new government in Afghanistan will ensure peace which will pave the way for safe access to the Central Asian States and thus help us in enhancing export to this landlocked region.
A question-answer session was also held. Vice President Ayub Aslam Manj, Ubaidullah Sheikh, Abdul Ghafoor and Hafiz Shafiq Kashif participated in this session.
Later, President Engineer Ihtisham Javed presented FCCI memento to the UAE Ambassador while Senior Vice President Chaudhary Tallat Mehmood offered vote of thanks.