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    Friday, 19 January 2018

    Visa restrictions would be eased for traders,investors-Australian envoy

    MULTAN, Jan 19th: Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson has said that Pakistan and Australia have been enjoying cordial and steady relations for the last many decades. Addressing the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI)chaired by Malik Asrar Ahmed Awan its president here on Friday,She assured that hardships in visa would be ended and recommendations of chambers  for trade visa would be properly entertained. she said that there was an ample room for enhancing the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries. Currently, the trade volume between Australia and Pakistan was stood at US $1.7 billion but Pakistan has a little share of  US $400 million annually, which could be further enhanced manifolds, she added. She said that Australia had been assisting Pakistan in a number of spheres, including agriculture, water management,livestock, mining, and energy, but promotion and growth of bilateral trade and investment were her priorities. She praised the thriving culture of small and medium level industries in Multan and urged the local businessmen, industrialists and exporters to come forward and explore the Australian market and enjoy lucrative benefits of investment there.She said that Pakistan was a fast developing nation and had a bright future. She said that excessive exchange of trade delegations at various levels and trade related information between both the countries could play a big role in promotion of bilateral trade and investment. She said that Australia had a model community of Pakistanis, who had been working hard and playing positive role in the progress of Australia.Pakistan, she said, had a vast pool of resources and much of that resource lay in the talent of the business community, she said.Among some of the fields in which there could be fruitful cooperation were agriculture, livestock, mining and the dairies sector, she said.“There’s been a broad link between the two countries, but there’s still room for greater investment between them,” she said .Pakistan, she said, had a vast pool of resources and much of that resource lay in the talent of the business community, she said. Among some of the fields in which there could be fruitful cooperation were agriculture, livestock, mining and the dairies sector, she said. Australia, Margaret Adamson said, had made vast progress in irrigation and could certainly help Pakistan make irrigation “more contemporary”. The two countries could have collaborative education and research, she said.“Pakistan’s human capital is massive but needs to be trained up,” she said. She talked of Pakistan’s reliance on remittances from overseas and said that they could be a potent factor given what the young people working in Australia would be remitting back home.She said that currently, there were 16,000 Pakistani students in Australia.“The Australian approach is cost-effective,” she said.The Australian Government is working with Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) to assist Pakistani start-up entrepreneurs learn the business acumen and management practices necessary to run small and medium enterprises.High Commissioner Ms. Margaret Adamson said that Course on business incubation management was introduced to  exchange innovative ideas with professionals in Australia and Pakistan, strengthening industry-academic links and helping to build public-private partnerships in business incubation.We hope that the acquired skills and knowledge and the exchange of experience with business incubators will contribute to the advancement of small and medium enterprises in Pakistan to support the country’s economic growth and future development,” Ms Adamson said. MCCI president Malik Asrar Ahmed Awan,Ms.Filza Mumtaz President of Women Chamber,Syeda  Sarwat Zahra Convener of Women Entrepreneurs Sub-committe,Khawaja Muhammad Usman,Mian Iqbal Hassan, Vice President of MCCI  Khawaja Muhammad Farooq,Mirza Ali Ahmed,Khurram Javed Secretary General of MCCI were also present on the occasion. In his welcome address Malik Asrar Ahmed Awan President of MCCI that south Punjab was a significant region which produces 96 % of cotton in Punjab province, which is 72% of total cotton production in Pakistan,47 % wheat,23 % Sugarcane and 50 % livestock,This region is suitable for investment in agro-based industries like fruits,vegetable processing,Dairy and Livestock.A large number of industries that already exist are Cotton ginning,Spinning,weaving,fertilizer,cosmetics,flour mills,solvent Extraction and power Generation .Geographically Pakistan is an important country and has a strong position internationally.Pakistan's Gwader port and CPEC  sare unique projects in terms of social ,economioc and cultural cooperation. Malik Asrar said that we need Australian suppoprt and guidance in capacity builduing of Multan Chamber which a premier chamber of South Punjab and it was playing an important role in the development of Small and Medium Enterprises sector which is considered the engine of economic growth in any country. He further said," we are working on reviving the dying arts of this area like blue pottery,hand embroidary,camel skin products,hand woven garmentd and carpet making etc.He said that Multan chamber be declared a sister chamber of Australian chamber and a team of experts be sent to Multan besides initiating some development projects.He stressed the need for initiating an exchange programme where business delegations of two countries should visit each other at least once a year and These visits must be officially hosted. He suggested that a small exhibition with specifice focus on the products of Southern Punjab  area should be arranged.

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