Traders need to tap $3 trillion ASEAN market: RCCI



Rawalpindi:  Thailand can play a significant role in providing economic and trade opportunities to Pakistan by connecting it with the ASEAN (Association of SouthEast Asian Nations) market. The share of ASEAN countries in world trade is around twenty five percent, Pakistan’s trade volume with ASEAN countries is only around seven billion dollars which is very low in terms of potential.

These views were expressed by the speakers on the occasion of the 34th Achievement Awards ceremony and conference organized by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI)  in Bangkok, Thailand.

The aim of the awards and business conference was to increase trade relations between the ASEAN countries and to bring the business community and private sector of Pakistan and Thailand closer.

Ms Arada Fuangtong, representative from the Prime Minister office and Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand (DITP) who was the chief guest on the occasion lauded RCCI’s efforts for promoting trade ties between the two countries. She also agreed and appreciated the recommendations and suggestions including opening a DITP office in Pakistan.

RCCI president Nadeem Rauf in his keynote address said that the ASEAN region with its significant economic power, vast natural resources, and dynamic workforce, has a huge development potential which needs exploration in the better interest of all member nations.

There are vast opportunities for mutual trade in many sectors, including marble, medicine, automobile, construction, seafood, tourism and clothing, he added.

Group leader Sohail Altaf, Vice President Talat Awan, Chairman Usman Shaukat, former presidents, executive members, Thai Officials and trade delegations and representatives of prominent business personalities and organizations in various fields were also present on the occasion.

Chamber President Nadeem Rauf has said that about one and a half hundred businessmen, institutions and government representatives from Thailand including Pakistan participated in the Awards and Business Opportunities Conference. He said that there are fraternal relations between Pakistan and Thailand, tourism, especially the tourism of religious places, is very important, many signs and relics of Buddhism are still present in Pakistan. The two countries also share a deep connection with each other under the Gandhara civilization, he added.

He urged Thai investors to look into the opportunities concerning construction and real estate, tourism and hotel industry as Pakistan is a huge market in terms of Electronics and Automobiles. Pakistan’s exports also include Seafood, Cotton cloth, fabrics, Plastic materials, Granite, Marble and spices, Fruits, frozen juices, he said.