Africa emerge as new Trade partners of Asia
By parvaiz Ishaq Rama
For the last 60 years, country’s traditional trade partners had been US and Europe but business deals recorded by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan during the Expo have completely changed the demography of country’s trade.
TDAP chief executive Mohibullah Shah talking to Dawn on Monday said that at the conclusion of the mega fair deals worth $80 million were recorded, while others are under way. Some joint ventures and investment avenues are also being explored by the foreign visitors.
Giving some details about the outcome of the expo the TDAP chief said that it was amazing to know that the larger volume of business orders up to 40 per cent were placed by the Asian buyers, followed by Africans at 26 per cent. Export orders placed by the South American buyers stood at around 16 per cent and from US between 5 to 8 per cent.
Mr Shah hoped that since large number of export orders are still in the pipeline the total volume could reach to $130 million compared to $45 million orders recorded in last expo.
The global recession, he said, has shifted markets and with increasing purchasing power Asia has become major market for Pakistani products with countries from the Gulf, the Middle East, China, Iran, Turkey, and South Korea in the lead. Against this Europe has become number two and US the third for Pakistani exports.
There is also a visual shift in demand because engineering goods, surgical instruments, hospital equipment and handicraft are in greater demand from these countries. Egypt and East African countries are showing keen interest in motorcycles, CNG rickshaws and electric fans.
Many foreign delegates have expressed keen interest to invest in sectors like water treatment plants, low-cost housing, wind and solar energy and electric power generation.
However, he said the most fascinating development of the Expo Pakistan was the demand for 10,000 English teachers and 300 professors from Romania. This shows that in service sector Pakistan can also play a major role in many countries.