ISLAMABAD: Africa having 54 countries in it and population of 1.2 billion people with the size of economy at $2.4 trillion has positively indicated to using CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) and Gwadar Port to ensure access for its products to the markets of Central Asian Republics (CARs) and China. And more importantly Africa has also shown its willingness to start negotiations with Pakistan on Early Harvest that will stimulate the growth of Pak-African trade volume up to $8 billion in the next five years’ time. Kenya’s central bank has also agreed to allow Pakistani banks to open up their branches to facilitate the country’s exporters in Africa.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Industries & Production, Textile and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has disclosed this while talking to media.
Pakistan’s CPEC and Gwadar are a low hanging fruit that African countries want to pluck by exporting their products to Central Asian States and China and increase their trade with them. The use of Gwadar and CPEC in big way by African countries will stimulate the Pakistan economy manifold too. Pakistan under its Look Africa Policy Initiative is seriously aiming to tap the maximum share in economy of Africa that currently stands at $2.4 trillion, which is estimated to further go up to over $4 trillion in the next 10 years and to this effect we have decided to double the Pak-Africa trade volume to $8 billion from existing $4 billion in the next five years’ time.
Mentioning the successful two-day seminar held in Kenya under the Look Africa Policy that concluded on January 31, the adviser said that apart from government-to-government level interactions, business-to-business (B to B) interactions proved very productive as Pakistani businessmen managed to attain export orders of millions of dollars worth for rice, fruits, vegetables, processed food, confectionery, pharmaceuticals, sports goods, tractors, cement and light engineering sector companies. He said that huge attendance by business delegates and top officials from 20 African countries was witnessed. President of Kenya also attended the seminar and he himself met with Pakistan businessmen. Dawood also mentioned that about 100 businessmen from Pakistan attended the conference in Kenya on their own expenses.
And to this effect, the adviser said Pakistan and Africa have decided to immediately start negotiations for early harvest on at least 10 products to make inroads into Africa’s market to stimulate the growth in Pak-Africa trade.