‘Pak-Nepal BTA aims trade, investment promotion’


LAHORE: Napalese Ambassador Bharat Raj Paudyal said on Monday that Nepal-Pakistan Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) provides MFN treatment to both sides as it aimed at promoting trade and investment in areas of mutual benefit therefore the businessmen in the two countries should avail huge opportunity to enhance volume of two-way trade.
Talking to business community here at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), he said there existed solid institutional and legal framework in the two countries to facilitate the business community; therefore they should join hands in the areas of common interest.
Paudyal said Nepal-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) at finance ministers level was a useful forum for promotion of economic collaboration, adding the JEC was revived a few months ago and had opened up avenues of trade exchanges. In addition, he said, as members to South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) both the countries had the potential to increase trade under regional framework.
The ambassador and the LCCI president agreed to expedite dissemination of trade-related information through chambers of commerce in their respective countries in the larger interests of the two economies.
The Napalese ambassador urged the LCCI president to bring an LCCI delegation to Nepal for having first hand knowledge about economic opportunities there, as frequent visits were a way to expand business ties. 
There was a huge potential in Nepal for foreign investors especially in pharma industry, he said, adding Nepal was ready to make special bilateral trading arrangements with Pakistan for the sake of economic well being of both the countries, as Nepalese businessmen felt quite comfortable while dealing with their Pakistani counterparts.
Paudyal said that fast changing global scenario demanded the business people to break the barriers and join hands for a better future, as currently, Nepal-Pakistan mutual trade was negligible that needed an increased frequency of reciprocal visits by Pakistani and Nepalese business community.
While, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that like other parts of the world, new business alliances were shaping up in this region for the sake of trade promotion. He said Pakistan was an important player in South Asia, therefore special emphasis should be put on economic cooperation between the two countries.
He said the main reason for not using the existing opportunities was lack of knowledge about each other and there was a need to work together to identify possible fields of cooperation and provide proper information to business communities of both the sides.
Lashari said that macroeconomic stabilization and rapid economic development had turned Pakistan into one of the most attractive locations in the world and it was high time for the foreign investors to avail this opportunity to the maximum. Apart from Chamber to Chamber linkages, he observed, equally important was the role of respective governments.
The LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah and VP Kashif Anwar also spoke on the occasion.

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