Africa’s potential and the missing trade connection between Pakistan and the continent featured prominently at the 10th Expo Pakistan held 9th-12th November, 2017 in Karachi.
Organised by Ministry of Commerce and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), the expo is a flagship trade event of the government of Pakistan where buyers from around the world are invited to visit the country and meet their business partners in the country.
The 2017 expo saw 775 foreign buyers/importers visiting from 70 countries to participate in the event, including 14 delegates from Nigeria, 12 from Benin and one from Ghana.
It was first time that so many businessmen from West Africa participated in any event in Pakistan, according to official sources.
The event also witnessed the display of a wide array of items from entire chain of textile, leather, surgical & pharma, food & ingredients, engineering, auto & auto parts, sports goods, carpets, mineral & metals, home décor, gems & jewellery, cosmetics, stationery, herbal items, leather products and services, among others.
Begun in 2005 with a view to bringing buyers to Pakistan instead of helping exporters to display their products abroad, the expo provides an unparalleled opportunity to strike best sourcing deals to ensure reliable and seamless supply chain.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Prime Minister of Pakistan, who graced the occasion and launched the fresh initiative of ‘Emerging Pakistan’ on the eve of the expo, also addressed the delegates and discussed the potential of Pakistan for the world.
Other events at the expo included the ‘Look Africa Trade Forum’ organised by the Ministry of Commerce, which had all the delegates from Africa participating fully. The forum discussed Africa’s potential and the missing trade connection between Pakistan and Africa.
Grema Garba Saom, High Commissioner of Nigeria to Pakistan, who addressed the gathering, appreciated Pakistan’s effort in reaching out to Africa.
Also speaking, Ibrahim Muazzam of Nigeria, Mrs Kabbassi of Benin and Robert Kwamey of Ghana appreciated Pakistan’s bold initiative to build abiding trade connections with Africa, lauding it as a substantive step which would certainly help in increasing mutual trade.
On the sidelines of the expo, the delegates also had detailed meetings with the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to explore opportunities for B2B connections.
Pakistan’s Commerce Secretary emphasisied the need for trade with the regional trade bodies of Africa, such as ECOWAS, SACU, etc.