Fakhruddin Diwan, Chairman of the Pakistan – UAE Business Council, emphasized the substantial advantages of a prolonged economic partnership with the UAE for Pakistan. Such collaboration could provide significant relief in addressing Pakistan’s enduring foreign exchange challenges, stagnant economic growth, the need to broaden its export portfolio, and the enhancement of worker remittances.
It is noteworthy that in the fiscal year 2022, the volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and the UAE surpassed the significant milestone of $10 billion, establishing the UAE as Pakistan’s largest trading partner within the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA), comprising 21 countries. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that the trade balance strongly favors the UAE.
Diwan underscored the importance of encouraging UAE investments in Pakistan through joint ventures, industrial partnerships, solar energy initiatives, corporate agriculture and food processing ventures, information technology and IT-enabled services, as well as petrochemical projects.
Furthermore, Diwan advocated for integrating the UAE into the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), leveraging the UAE’s world-class communications infrastructure. This integration could be achieved by establishing links with UAE’s ports, shipping, trade, financial, tourism, and commercial networks.
In addition to this, Pakistan receives a substantial $6.11 billion in worker remittances from the UAE. Coupled with the UAE’s consistent support through loans and grants to bolster Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan over the past three decades, the UAE has emerged as one of Pakistan’s most reliable and indispensable economic allies.
Diwan maintained that the UAE could act as a catalyst in facilitating Pakistan’s establishment of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, a move that could significantly contribute to Pakistan’s journey towards self-sufficiency.
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