ISLAMABAD -  Ambassador of United Arab Emirates Essa Abdullah Al Basha Al Noaimi has said that Pakistan’s dairy sector has the potential to promote €20 billion exports of dairy products to Europe and other countries if the country develops this sector on modern lines.

He said the UAE considered Pakistan an important country of Muslim world and wanted to further enhance bilateral trade with it. He said this while addressing the business community at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said that under UAE’s Pakistan Assistance Programme, 165 projects were launched in Pakistan in health, education, infrastructure development and other areas that would mitigate the problems of Pakistani people.

He said the UAE was going to organise the first international level “Expo 2020” in which 80 countries would participate and about 50 million people would visit this event. He invited Pakistani business community to participate in that expo and explore new business opportunities. He said that businessmen could set up pavilions or hire space in that expo. He said about 600 Pakistani companies were doing successful business in free economic zones of UAE while about 1.1 million Pakistanis were contributing to its economic development. He said that UAE would continue to assist Pakistan for its better economic development.

In his welcome address, Khalid Iqbal Malik, president of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that Pakistan and UAE enjoyed cordial relations. Bilateral trade between the two countries in 2014 was around $9 billion. However, he said, the two-way trade was still less than the actual potential of both countries. He said that UAE’s bilateral trade in 2015-16 with one of our neighbours was over $50 billion, which showed that Pakistan and UAE had great potential to improve the trade figure. He stressed that both countries should focus on promoting strong connectivity between their private sectors to further enhance bilateral trade.

Khalid Iqbal Malik said that UAE extended generous support to Pakistan for better health and education facilities and this was laudable. He said that UAE had launched Pakistan Assistance Programme in 2011 for building schools, colleges and hospitals and it was highly appreciable. He said that there were tremendous investment opportunities for UAE’s investors in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy, including infrastructure development, power generation, water management and agro industries. He said that both countries have good prospects to start joint ventures in many areas, including aluminum products, horticulture, farming, dairy farming, livestock, financial sector, prefabricated houses and affordable low income houses. He said that cooperation between SMEs of Pakistan and UAE could fetch more beneficial results for both countries.