Sixth EXPO2011 concludes successfully
November 04, 2011
Recently the successful Expo-2011 was held in the biggest metropolis of Pakistan, for sixth time. Invitations extended to foreign observers cost a whooping Rs100 million while exporters received orders amounting to U$.570 million, with 15 major trade accords being signed. Observers /representatives of 52 countries, representing 25 sectors, while foreign stalls also present, amounted to more than 300. Also held, were 1650 important meetings, which have strong future prospects. Trade Development Authority (TDA) had expected export orders to a tune of more than U$.100 million, which easily materialized. This EXPO was handled by TDA itself, instead of handing over the arrangements to any other party. This resulted in a reduced expenditure of Rs.100 million for arrangements of the auspicious event, yielding revenue worth Rs.150 million from stall rents. Earlier this EXPO was successfully held in 2005, turning the event into a successful trade event. Pakistani exporters had received export orders worth U$.80 million.
Generally foreign investors shy from coming to Pakistan, due to law and order situation, but in what could be termed as a good omen, foreign sectors of agro-food, auto parts, sports’ goods, fabrics, garments, leather, handicrafts, furniture, surgery equipment, IT and energy also participated alongwith foreign buyers. Some foreign government officials were also present on the occasion. Hong Kong announced to invest in U$.120 million, while at the conclusion of a successful event, new markets and avenues for auto parts and raw construction materiel are also expected to bloom. According to the EXPO management Pakistan industry has received record export orders, while initially U$.517 million worth of export orders have been placed, which would eventually emerge as giant orders. African buyers, importers have expressed their specific interest in light engineering, motorcycles, fans, and motors. Middle Eastern concerns were interested in materiel required for industries. Surprisingly enough even Indian business community also participated alongwith Pakistani Trade minister Naeem Anwar.
PM, Yousaf Raza Gilani has declared 2011 as the year of exports for Pakistan. Pakistan’s exports in 2008-2000 amounted to U$.17.7 million growing up to U$.19.3 million in 2009-2010, rising to a record U$.25.3 million in 2010-2011. All this in face of massive production losses incurred due to devastating floods of previous year and massive energy load shedding. Textile sector still recorded a successful 35% export growth, registering an increase in overall export targets, and projecting growing trust in Pakistani products. Pakistan offers vast potential of investments in sectors of agricultural, diary farming, textiles, infrastructure, energy, pharmaceuticals, engineering, mining and minerals. Other sectors of handicrafts, agro-related products, auto sector, textiles, Pakistan fashion designs, electrical goods, carpet weaving, and others were also focused sharply. Western media had played an important negative role in discouraging impact on foreign investors, by concocting fabricated issues of law and order here. This was chiefly due to aggressive demeanor of Pakistani politicians, which was misrepresented by western media as a confrontational hype; something this EXPO successfully helped dispel.
Foreign investors were finally convinced of Karachi being an active industrial hub, which coupled with competitive prices and high quality manufacturing standards could easily open new business and trade avenues. Meanwhile Pakistani fashion community also exposed itself to foreign investors, with its numerous fashion shows during the EXPO, while TDAP had also arranged a series of B2B meetings in Convention Center, in order to open new avenues of trade and investment in Pakistan. A Pakistan-Turkish joint business council headed by its chairman Hussein Eikan met their Pakistani counterpart, and on behalf of Turkish government, criticized Pakistani duties over textile exports to Turkey. The delegation also stressed on immediate signing of accord between Pakistan and Turkey over Preferred Trade Agreement (PTA), in order to ensure an annual U$. 2 billion-trade target. Foreign investors also showed their preference for Pakistani denim, by placing Rs.500 million worth of orders.
Russian, American, British, Mexico and other countries also showed their keen interest in stalls setup by Siddiqui sons to review and enquire about their denim products, while regular foreign customers fully lauded the denim’s quality. Expressing his view on Pakistani EXPO, the Russian consul general said that (these) EXPOs would promote better trade relationship between two countries. He also indicated the biggest 34-member trade delegation to visit Pakistan, which included representative of sectors like energy, chemicals, textiles, steel consumers, store chains etc; which would help enhance trade / investment prospects between two countries. He also cited a 52% increase in trade between two countries. Important trade/business representatives of Japan and South Korea also participated in the EXPO, on special invitation. This would/could help huge export orders/investments from that side of world. Meanwhile trade between Pakistan and UK has peaked to U$. 2 billion, and which is expected to increase by 2 times in future. Participation of a 50-member British trade delegation, including 30 main North England businessmen, would/could also ensure a n export rush from that quarters as well.
A 4-member Japanese delegation also met TDAP, and FPCCI, and offered assistance in increasing agro productivity with latest technology. The delegation requested allotment of agro land in all four Provinces for its R&D (research and development) endeavors. Traders and business community have greatly hailed EXPO for promoting business/exports of Pakistan. The president FCCI, senator Haji Ghulam Ali said that EXPO had portrayed true grit of Pakistani culture and business opportunities for Pakistan in foreign markets. Foreign buyers expressed their gratitude for access to Pakistani products.