LAHORE: Uganda and Pakistan can build their mutual trade and economic relations on new lines. Both countries are enjoying cordial friendly relations which should be transformed into strong trade & economic ties. Pakistan is the best country to collaborate with and Uganda can take many advantages from this resource enriched country, said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of Uganda Dr. Asuman Kiyingi while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) here on Friday.
The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz, Ambassador of Uganda Dr. Mohammad Ahmed Kissule and LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir also spoke on the occasion while Executive Committee Members Maqsood Butt, Shahzad Ahmed and Rizwan Shamsi were present on the occasion.
He said that President of the Republic of Uganda H.E. Yoweri Museveni would visit Pakistan this year. Dr. Asuman Kiyingi said that both countries should make joint efforts for the promotion of trade economic cooperation between the two countries as existing trade volume does not reflect the available potential.
He said that Uganda and Pakistan were agricultural countries and could share experience and expertise in this particular sector for mutual benefit.
The Minister of State said that Uganda offers best investment opportunities with easy access to big market of 200 million people of East African Community and Pakistani investors should initiate joint ventures with their counterparts in Uganda the areas of energy, food processing, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas and extraction of iron ore etc. He said that Pakistan could import high quality tea and coffee from Uganda.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Pakistan and Uganda have strong relations which need to be developed further. He said that Uganda is a potential market for Pakistani exports but unfortunately the presence of Pakistani products in the Ugandan market is quire nominal.
LCCI president said that governments of both the countries need to take active interest in developing of these relations. He said that the commercial sections of the embassies of both the countries need to arrange delegations and trade fairs on a regular basis so that the products of both the countries could be aggressively marketed and a common platform for the businessmen of both the countries could be provided.
He said that the bottlenecks between the smooth flows of trade between Pakistan and Uganda should be seriously dealt with.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Pakistan can supply rice, textile, pharmaceutical, surgical, sports goods, leather goods, meat and ready to cook food, home appliances including pedestal fans, water pumps, washing machines, refrigerators etc to Uganda and East African countries. He said that both the countries can also collaborate in agriculture and agricultural products and machinery.
He said that there should be ease of visas for the businessmen on both sides. Tourism should be enhanced. Single country exhibitions should be held and students, researchers and medical experts should be exchanged on a more regular basis to increase people to people interaction.
LCCI president said that there is immense potential for increasing trade between both the countries which is not being fully exploited. He said that joint ventures in the fields of engineering and building up of infrastructure in Uganda can be a prospective opportunity for Pakistan as well.