Ambassador Azhar also shared Malaysian SMEs’ experience during the COVID-19 pandemic in surviving their businesses. Malaysia has encouraged SMEs to transform into digital marketing or online businesses to reduce unnecessary costs. Pakistan has the potential for trade and investment to be expanded and should explore digital marketing concepts
ISLAMABAD: Ambassador Azhar paid a visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industries (ICSTSI), Islamabad.
He was accompanied by Mr. Mohd Syafik, Counsellor of the High Commission. On his arrival, he was received by Mr. Sajjad Sarwar, President of ICSTSI, and his executive members.
The aim of the visit was to enhance bilateral engagement between the High Commission and ICSTSI. The meeting commenced with a recitation of the Holy Quran followed by brief introduction about ICSTSI by Mr. Sajjad.
Thereafter, Ms. Syeda Wajida, Chairperson of Diplomatic Affairs of ICSTSI briefed on the development of small traders and industries in Pakistan. Present were Office Bearers, Executive Members, and members of the ICSTSI. In his remarks, Ambassador Azhar gave an overview of the state of relations between Malaysia and Pakistan.
He mentioned that formal relations were established in 1957. Since then, Malaysia and Pakistan had been enjoying close bilateral relations. Both countries enhanced trade relationships following the signing of the Malaysia-Pakistan Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (MPCEPA) in November 2007.
The bilateral relations were elevated to a strategic partnership on 23 March 2019. Currently, there are 1.2 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia comprising more than 97% of the nation’s businesses and delivering 38.4% of the gross domestic product (GDP). In Malaysia, SME Corporation is entrusted to assist SMEs and entrepreneurs in expanding their businesses.
Thus, he emphasized that Malaysia and Pakistan need to expend the potential of small and medium trades into bigger opportunities for mutual benefits. Ambassador Azhar also shared Malaysian SMEs’ experience during the COVID-19 pandemic in surviving their businesses. Malaysia has encouraged SMEs to transform into digital marketing or online businesses to reduce unnecessary costs. Pakistan has the potential for trade and investment to be expanded and should explore digital marketing concepts.
The Ambassador welcomed and placed a high hope for stronger cooperation in the field of trade and investment between the two countries. The meeting ended with a question-and-answer session. Ambassador Azhar was later accompanied to the exhibition corner. The visit was held and ended in a cordial and warm atmosphere. At the end of the event, the President of ICSTSI presented the shield to the Ambassador. Ambassador Azhar also invited members of ICSTSI to look at Malaysia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as their business gateway considering the huge market of the combined 680 million population.
Bilateral relations between Malaysia and Pakistan have been close. Pakistan is Malaysia’s 35th largest trading partner, 28th largest export destination, and 40th largest import source. Among South Asian countries, Pakistan was Malaysia’s 3rd largest trading partner with total bilateral trade amounting to RM7.84 billion (USD1.78 billion) in 2022.