KARACHI, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 27th Jan, 2017 ) : Honorary Consul General of Rwanda, Farooq Aazam Khawaja urged the business and industrial community of Karachi to effectively penetrate into African market by exploring this untapped huge market of more than 1.25 billion population spred over 55 countries. He expressed deep concern over the lack of awareness about trade potential and lucrative investment opportunities in the African market, says KCCI statement here on Friday.
In a meeting with members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) during his visit to the chamber, the Consul General of Rwanda said the recent reports by World Bank, International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank and other Financial Institutions around the world have been highlighting this promising market which offered countless trade and investment opportunities. China, India, France, Japan, European Union, United States and others have been taking keen interest in the African market as they fully realized its potential.
But, he regretted, we, the Pakistanis, remained totally unaware. It was a matter of concern that this important market was largely being neglected both by public and private sectors, he added. President KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Younus Soomro and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present at the meeting. Honorary Consul General of Rwanda further informed that Rwanda was the third easiest country to do business in the African region where Pakistani companies could register without any hassle in just a day.
It offered excellent business climate with no problems at all in terms of electricity, infrastructure, sewerage, cleanliness and other industry-related facilities. Rwanda Development board provides one window operation to the business and industrial community which makes it very easier to run businesses in Rwanda, he added. He said the business community could enhance trade and invest in different sectors of African economy including pharmaceutical, infrastructure, textile and many others which would surely prove beneficial, he added.
Farooq Aazam Khawaja informed that Rwanda had been witnessing strong growth rate of 7 to 8 percent since past many years and every year around 900,000 visitors had been visiting this country where hotel occupancy remained above 90 percent. He pointed out that Rwanda was a member of East African Community (EAC) which also comprised Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. This would provide duty free access to Pakistani goods to any of these member countries.
Whereas, the travelers did not require separate visas to move from one EAC country to another. Earlier, President KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo, in his remarks, stated that although the relationship between Pakistan and Rwanda was still at an infant stage. The two countries must hold regular bilateral meetings to examine and strengthen areas of cooperation. Pakistan and Rwanda share healthy bilateral relations where trade between the two countries is going smooth, he opined. President KCCI noted that during Fiscal Year 2016, Pakistan exported goods worth Dollars 14.6 million to Rwanda as against $ 4.8 million in last fiscal year, which was an appreciable rise but the volume was still very low. On the other hand, imports from Rwanda stood at $ 13.5 million in 2016 as against $ 13.8 million in the preceding year, he added.