The exchange of trade-related information between Pakistan and South Africa can help boost trade between the two countries, said High Commissioner of South Africa Mthuthuzeli Madikiza.

Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Wednesday, he said that South African businessmen were aware of investment opportunities in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy.

He identified multiple sectors where the two countries can focus to enhance trade.

“Pakistan can certainly benefit from the South African expertise,” the official added.

He urged the two sides to make joint efforts to build meaningful partnerships between their respective private sectors to further bolster mutual trade and economic ties.

The envoy extended invitation to LCCI officials for a virtual conference scheduled to be held soon.

Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah lauded the good working relations between LCCI and High Commission of South Africa.

“Since the situation in Pakistan is normalising gradually following the outbreak of Covid-19, business activities between the two countries should accelerate as well,” he added.

However, the LCCI president lamented that exports of Pakistan to South Africa had remained static for the past three years.

Misbah pointed out that trade between both countries was largely limited to raw material or intermediate goods.

According to him, there was massive scope for cooperation in pharmaceutical, food processing, rice, engineering and agriculture sectors.

“Pakistan is keen to adopt latest technologies and techniques in the agriculture sector,” he said.

“The country is known globally for its rice, surgical instruments and sports goods.”

He said that Pakistan’s pharmaceutical sector advanced at a rapid pace over the last couple of decades.

In 2019, the value of rice imported by South Africa stood at $450 million, however, Pakistan’s share in this amount was just $9 million, he added.

In the same year, pharmaceutical imports of South Africa stood at $2.39 billion and Pakistan’s share stood at $1.3 million only, said Misbah.

The LCCI president said that Pakistani businessmen were keen to explore South African market and role of South African High Commission was crucial in this regard.