Azerbaijani envoy seeks to draw businessmen’s attention to AFEZ – Pakistan

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KARACHI: Ambassador of Azerbaijan Khazar Farhadov, while highlighting the potential, opportunities and incentives for foreign investors, has called on the business and industrial community in Karachi to consider the possibility of investing in the free economic zone of Karachi. Alat (AFEZ) where no value – additional tax, withholding or other corporate tax was applicable and there were no foreign ownership restrictions.

While exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the envoy added that Pakistani investors, by setting up their business units in Azerbaijan, addition to the availability of comprehensive infrastructure, tax exemptions and other incentives, benefit from a business-friendly environment through reduced red tape and ongoing reforms in the macroeconomic environment, human capital and labor market, infrastructure and public services, investor protection, foreign trade facilitation and technology and innovations.

The Azerbaijani Ambassador further pointed out that no less than 2,137 Pakistani companies are registered in Azerbaijan, covering key sectors such as industry, trade, services, construction, transport and telecommunications, while investment total of Pakistani companies in Azerbaijan amounted to 4.2 million dollars during the period from 1995-2021.

“Azerbaijan, with a population of 10.1 million, a GDP per capita of US$3,693 and foreign direct investment of US$14.8 billion in the non-oil sector, can offer opportunities for profitable investment to Karachi’s business community in agriculture, construction, petrochemicals, renewable energy, transport, mining, digital economy and tourism sectors,” he added.

Highlighting the business opportunities between the two countries, he said Pakistani businessmen can export garments and other textile products, optical and medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, rice, mangoes, bananas and others. tropical fruits while Azerbaijan can export cotton and cotton yarn, ethylene or propylene polymers, fermented black tea, tomatoes, hazelnuts, strawberries, berries, vegetables, fruit juices, sauces, etc.

KCCI Chairman Muhammad Idrees said that in 2020, Pakistan’s exports to Azerbaijan stood at $11.63 million and imports at $1.66 million, which was quite meager and well below real potential. “It is essential that the two countries engage in the exchange of delegations at the government level and at the private sector level for the promotion of bilateral trade and the strengthening of economic cooperation and partnership,” he added. .

Emphasizing the need to explore other different products with great potential, he pointed out that trade could be improved by focusing on pharmaceuticals, confectionery, dates, flat-rolled iron or steel products. unalloyed, plastics and chemicals. “Furthermore, given that the construction sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Azerbaijani economy and Pakistan is a major exporter of premium cement; therefore, we can supply this essential raw material to Azerbaijan to meet its construction needs.

He further stated that Azerbaijan produces various agricultural products including cotton, cereals, olives, sugar beets, hazelnuts, pulses, citrus fruits and livestock etc. which are in high demand in Pakistan. ; therefore, these products can be supplied by Azerbaijan.

“The two countries also have potential for joint ventures in the pharmaceutical, agricultural and manufacturing sectors,” said Muhammad Idrees, adding, “Pakistan can also export its value-added agricultural products like Basmati rice, mangoes to Azerbaijan , fruit, sporting and surgical articles. . Pakistan, with a huge population of over 221 million, offers a lucrative consumer market for Azerbaijani investors and traders.

He invited Azerbaijani investors to explore business opportunities in Pakistan and also participate in the CPEC project through investments and joint ventures.

He also invited the Azerbaijani business community to participate in the My Karachi exhibition scheduled for the month of March 2022. This mega event provides an excellent opportunity for businessmen for B2B meetings and for interaction offering a one-stop shop for the trade promotion.

Senior Vice President Abdul Rehman Naqi, Qazi Vice President Zahid Hussain, Chairman of Diplomatic Missions and Embassies Liaison Sub-Committee Zia ul Arfeen, Former KCCI Chairman Majyd Aziz, Embassy Second Secretary of Azerbaijan, Shahbala Karimov, Third Secretary/Press Attaché of Azerbaijan Embassy Elchin Mehdiyev and KCCI Management Committee members attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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