Pakistan wants to boost its trade with Africa by more than double in five years’ time. Also, Pakistan is looking at the possibilities of having free trade agreements with the continental, as per an advisor.
The adviser to Prime Minister on commerce, industries, and investment Abdul Razak Dawood said that Pakistan wants to discuss all kinds of proposals from African nations “at bilateral and multilateral level”.
At a Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference held in Kenyan capital, Nairobi Dawood said, “We are already in touch SACU, ECOWAS and EAC to negotiate trade agreements and also plan to take advantage of the opportunities that exist under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (FTA.”
Pakistan is taking vigorous measures including appointing commercial envoys in the potential countries to boost economic ties with the continent.
Dawood said, “We are opening six new trade wings at our embassies in African countries including Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal, Sudan, and Tanzania. This has increased the number to 10, while they would also be granted accreditations to cover the whole continent.”
Furthermore, Dawood added, “… the time has come to unlock the true potential of our trade relations and in this regard connectivity is the key to socio-economic development.”
As per Dawood, the trade volume between Pakistan and Africa has been quite below the potential which must be increased.
From 2012-13 to 2016-17, the trade between Pakistan with Africa has remained fixed at $3 billion/year. It has raised to $4.6 billion in 2018-19. The share of Pakistan in the total trade of African countries is 0.4%.
The advisor said, “… reduction in tariff and non-tariff trade barriers by both side, is also necessary, as it acts as a catalyst for accelerated growth in bilateral trade.”