Pakistan and Argentina should enhance their partnership in the agriculture sector for positive mutual outcomes, said Ambassador of Argentina to Pakistan Leopoldo Francisco Shores.
Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Saturday, the envoy emphasised the need to devise a new strategy in order to bolster the trade and economic ties between the two sides.
“There is a vast scope to enhance bilateral cooperation in agriculture and livestock sectors,” he remarked.
He underlined that the agriculture sector of Punjab had a notable share in the gross domestic product (GDP) of Pakistan, while Argentina had also made great progress in this segment.
Expressing keen interest to enhance cooperation in different sectors, the envoy maintained that strong business-to-business contacts as well as exchange of trade delegations were vital to lift the bilateral trade to its peak.
“This is an important year for both nations as the two countries completed 70 years of diplomatic relations,” he remarked.
He was of the view that deepening liaison between traders from both sides would be mutually beneficial.
On the occasion, LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir highlighted that Argentina was a leading nations in terms of livestock and cereal production.
“The economy of Argentina is almost twice the size of Pakistan and it ranks 31st among the biggest economies in the world,” he said, adding that Pakistan stood at 46th place on the same list.
Kabir underlined that apart from maintaining good diplomatic relations, the two sides were regular trading partners as well.
In 2002, both countries laid the basis of their economic relations by allotting most favourite nation (MFN) status to each other, he said.
“Although the balance of trade is currently in favour of Argentina, it is encouraging to see that bilateral trade is following an increasing trend,” he added.
Quoting the State Bank of Pakistan’s figures, Kabir revealed that the two-way trade increased to $116 million in 2020-21 against $102 million in 2019-20.
Imports from Argentina increased to $80 million in 2020-21 from $69 million in 2019-20, he pointed out.
During the same period, exports to Argentina inched up to $36 million as opposed to $33 million in 2019-20.
“We expect even better figures this fiscal year given that during the first four months, our exports to Argentina amounted to around $17 million, while imports were recorded near $32 million,” Kabir said.
“We wish to close the gap of trade deficit by diversifying our export items to Argentina,” he added.
Pakistan’s exports to Argentina consisted of woven fabrics, sports goods, chemicals, surgical instruments, home textile items, salt and cotton yarn etc, he pointed out.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2021.
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