Although the balance of trade between Pakistan and Switzerland is largely tilted in the latter’s favour, trade cannot be one-way and Pakistan needs to focus more on improving its exports to Switzerland, said the Swiss envoy on Thursday.

During a visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Ambassador of Switzerland Benedict de Cerjat said, “Although it is not my job to increase Pakistan’s exports to Switzerland, it is purely the role of Pakistan’s ambassador, yet I can help and contribute because at the end of the day, if you export more textiles, we will also be able to export more Swiss machinery that would not only improve your productivity but also create a win-win situation for both the friendly countries.”

Also speaking on the occasion, KCCI President Shariq Vohra pointed out that Pakistan and Switzerland shared healthy bilateral relations based on cooperation in different economic spheres. In 2019, Pakistan’s exports to Switzerland amounted to $169.98 million while the imports stood at $376.31 million. The trade was heavily in favour of Switzerland with a trade surplus of $206.32 million in 2019 necessitating Pakistan to find new avenues for enhancing its exports.

The Swiss ambassador said that even though we have very good numbers in terms of investment and “I hope it will continue to be the case but we don’t have good numbers in trade which needs to be focused”. He noted that the performance of Pakistan’s textiles sector was quite interesting. “If Pakistan is doing so well in the textiles sector, Switzerland can provide excellent textile machineries which would prove favourable for both of us.”

The envoy was of the opinion that even during the pandemic, Pakistan’s economic performance has been relatively well in comparison to many other countries.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2021.

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