RAWALPINDI: Speakers at Virtual International Trade Forum (VITF) Chapter China and Hong Kong, urges for diversification and look for new products for exports. The second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA-II), China has brought down tariffs to zero for Pakistan on 313 high-priority tariff lines.
Commercial and trade consular stationed in China and Hong Kong spoke in detail about the demand for Pakistani products, barriers to exports, banking channels, value addition and marketing.
Badar-u-Zaman, Trade & Investment Counsellor Beijing, and Muhammad Irfan, Trade & Investment Counsellor Guangzhou China highlighted the trade opportunities for Pakistani exporters in China.
Spinning and cotton yarn are still in demand in China, however we need to upgrade the products according to the Chinese new policy, said Badar Zaman. Trade Consul Guangzhou China Muhammad Irfan gave suggestions regarding language barriers, display center and branding. Arsalan Ahmed, Deputy Secretary, China Desk, Ministry of Commerce, said that exporters and entrepreneurs need more information and training.
President RCCI Mohammad Nasir Mirza said that China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner. We have to focus on other sectors apart from the traditional ones. The Gem (precious stone) sector is in high demand in Hong Kong. The machinery, seafood and construction sectors also need to be addressed. The government is required to ensure the provision of training and labs to the concerned institutions for certification and standardization so that the products can be introduced abroad with value addition.
Earlier, addressing the forum, Consul General of Hong Kong Bilal Ahmed Butt said that the holding of a trade forum under the auspices of Rawalpindi Chamber is commendable and the rest of the chambers should follow suit. Machinery is in high demand in Hong Kong. Director TDAP Shehzad Ahmed said that the focus of trade development is on tackling the COVID-19 situation, challenges like lockdown and quarantine. Javed Iqbal, Director, Hong Kong Trade Forum, said that priority should be given to cold chain, certification and product valuation.
The Rawalpindi Chamber is ready to co-operate in organizing sector specific business conferences and exhibitions. Chairman Forum Khurshid Barlas said that the Rawalpindi Chamber has increased networking through virtual platforms to promote business activities. Former President Raja Amer Iqbal, Senior Vice President Usman Ashraf, Vice President Shahraiz A Malik and a larger number of members attended the session via Zoom.