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Saudi Arabia assessing advancements in FTA to enhance trade with Pakistan: Commercial Attache

APP | 10 December 2023

Saudi Arabia assessing advancements in FTA to enhance trade with Pakistan: Commercial Attache

ISLAMABAD, Dec 10 (APP): Saudi Commercial Attaché in Pakistan, Mubasher bin Abdullah Al-Shohri on Sunday said the Kingdom’s officials were currently assessing advancements in the initial Free Trade Agreement (FTA) aimed at enhancing trade with Pakistan, with the anticipated commencement of the third phase in the near future.

Talking to media, he said following the initial trade agreement reached in Riyadh on September 28, involving Gulf Cooperation Council member countries and Pakistan, the pertinent legal committee was meticulously scrutinizing progress on various issues.

Mubasher said upon the completion of this review, the legal committee would formulate a comprehensive action plan, paving the way for the initiation of the third phase. This phase would specifically address legal matters, ensuring their organization and subsequent implementation, he added.

He highlighted the presence of specialized institutions facilitating trade exchanges between the two fraternal nations, adding that these entities meticulously were assessing the opportunities and facilities offered by both countries, strategically leveraging them to augment the volume of bilateral trade.

The Saudi commercial attaché stated that the trade volume between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had surged to 61 billion riyals ($16.3 billion) from September 2020 to 2023, underscoring the trust and cooperation between the two brotherly nations.

He said both sides were actively engaged in concerted efforts to double this figure, aiming to elevate trade further. “There is optimism that we will successfully attain our goals in this regard,” he maintained.

Mubasher said the commercial department at the Saudi Embassy worked together with the cooperation of the relevant institutions in order to identify significant opportunities and promote bilateral trade with Pakistan.

He said at present, Pakistan exported meat, vegetables, fruits and rice to Saudi Arabia in large quantities, while both countries were working to increase cooperation in the fields of energy, technology and information technology.

Currently, he said significant and distinguished Saudi companies, such as SABK, TAWAL, and Saudi Pak Industrial and Agricultural Investment Company, were actively operating in Pakistan. Furthermore, there were plans for additional Saudi companies to enter the Pakistani market in the future, he added.

Discussing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Saudi commercial attaché emphasized the paramount importance of economic corridors for societal development and the enhancement of global trade. He said economic corridors not only facilitated trade but also provided avenues for more effective aid activities.

Mubasher said Saudi Arabia consistently seized opportunities crucial to development paths, irrespective of their geographical location.

 source: APP