ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Commerce is organizing Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference under the “Look Africa Policy initiative” from January 30 to 31, which is first of its kind, as over two hundred delegates (officials and businessmen) from twenty African countries, arranged by Pakistan Missions abroad are going to participate in the conference.
Pakistan’s trade with Africa has remained stagnant at USD 3 billion per year from 2012-13 to 2016-17, which has increased to USD 4.6 billion in 2018-19. Main reason of the low trade volume had been low level of engagement of Pakistan with Africa.
In order to enhance trade and increase outreach to major African economies, the Ministry of Commerce launched “Look Africa Initiative”, which envisaged various measures to enhance trade with Africa.
In 2019, the Ministry of Commerce has relocated six commercial sections from Europe to Africa taking the total number to ten, to cover top ten economies of Africa.
The participating countries include Pakistan, Kenya, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Niger, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Mauritius, Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi.
The Advisor to PM and Minister for Foreign Affairs are leading the Pakistani delegation. The Foreign Minister and Trade Minister of Kenya have confirmed participation and Kenyan government is providing full support for the event.
The State Minister of Trade from Uganda is also going to attend the conference. The President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta will inaugurate the conference. A delegation of over hundred leading Pakistani companies, in major export sectors as detailed below, having potential in Africa, has been arranged by TDAP:
Textile and apparel, pharmaceuticals, agriculture (rice, sugar, wheat etc.),tractors & agricultural implements, banking and transportation, surgical instruments, leather & sports goods, light engineering and electronics, IT & software, cement & construction services
During the conference, Pak-Africa relations will be discussed, specially, ways and means to enhance trade, develop banking and transportation channels, improve engagements and connectivity and remove tariff and non-tariff barriers. A presentation on “business and investment opportunities in Pakistan” will be given, followed by sectoral presentations by Pakistani businessmen, presentations by African trading blocs/countries. In addition, to the conference, B2B, G2B and G2G meetings are arranged.