'Doing Business With Pakistan'
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and High Commission of Pakistan Malaysia jointly organized a seminar on 'Doing Business with Pakistan' on 21st December 2016 at MATRADE Headquarters. CEO MATRADE, Dato' Dzulkifli Mahmud in his opening remarks, highlighted the role of MATRADE in promotion of bilateral investment and trade between Malaysia and Pakistan. Over 200 Malaysian companies and Pakistani businessmen attended the seminar. Dato' Dzulkifli Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer highlighted the advantages of doing business with Pakistani companies. He said both countries have Malaysia-Pakistan Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (MDCEPA) since 2007 which became operation in 2008. There are many consumer products under zero tariff regime. He said Pakistan offers very attractive opportunities in all areas of trade. Dato' Dzulkifli also mentioned that ten Malaysian companies are working in Pakistan in different sectors. He urged the Malaysian service sector to explore opportunities in Pakistan.
H.E. Syed Hassan Raza, High Commissioner of Pakistan in Malaysia in his remarks and later in presentation highlighted the investment opportunities and trade potential in Pakistan. He informed the participants that there are numerous opportunities for the companies in both countries, having FTA since 2008. Both Governments are negotiating further reduction of duties on existing and additional tariff lines under FTA to facilitate business of both countries. Current trading basket by both countries is limited to Palm oil, fibre board, rubber electrical & electronic equipment etc. from Malaysia. From Pakistan main items being exported are rice, maize, cotton, textile, vegetables etc. He said diversification of products is the key to boost trade between the two countries. On investments, he mentioned that present investment regime is the most liberal in the region. Foreign equity could be 100% owned by foreign investor. There are no restriction on repatriation of profits/royalties, almost all sectors are open for investment and one-window facilitation are some of the highlights of new policy. He said special incentives are available for auto sector investors under new Auto policy 2016-21.
He emphasized that Pakistan is stable, peaceful and welcome foreign investors who may visit any part of the country. He also underlined the importance of promoting tourism between the two countries and informed about the various breathtaking and scenic locations as well as numerous opportunities for shopping at prices much lower than many other countries in the region specially offering excellent textile and other consumer goods.
He highlighted recent developments of economic cooperation between China-Pakistan which has culminated in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as part of One Road One Belt initiative. It is as a game changer for the entire South and Central Asia regions in terms of connectivity, access, reduction of distance and time for movement of goods. This would enhance development prospects of the region and provide investment and trade opportunities.
The panel discussion on investment experiences shared by Malaysian companies BRDB, Axiata and FGV was a testimony for potential investors who were eyeing on Pakistan market. The panelists highlighted the regulatory and working environment in Pakistan and explained the ease of doing business and facilitation provided to them while establishing their business entities. They projected that recent economic indicators of Pakistan reflect that country was on the path of development and future of new investors was promising in terms of returns on Investments and security of investment.
At the conclusion of seminar, recently established Malaysia Pakistan Business Forum office bearers were introduced by the High Commissioner. The Forum was established to promote bilateral trade between the two countries through exchange of delegations and facilitation in trade fairs, etc