By Muhammad Luqman
In a bid to double its trade volume with world’s second most populous continent during next five years, Pakistan has launched “Look Africa Policy Initiative”.
“The potential of this continent is remarkable, with staggering figures that the GDP from $2.4 trillion may go up to as high as $29 trillion in the years to come. We can’t afford to miss this great opportunity, and now we have to reach out,” said Advisor to Prime Minister on Trade, Abdul Razzaq Dawood while addressing envoys conference in the capital, Islamabad.
The trade between Pakistan and African countries stands at $3bn that has potential to reach $4bn mark in next two years, the advisor hoped.
The advisor said that under the “Look Africa Policy Initiative” the Ministry of Commerce is opening up six new commercial counselors in Africa, in six more countries. “We are now looking at as how we get into Africa through bilateral and multilateral trade agreements,” he said.
Under the ambit of the “Look Africa Policy Initiative” the Ministry of Commerce has planned a trade conference in Nairobi on 30-31 January 2020, a first initiative of its kind. It will bring stakeholders from both sides to explore trade enhancement opportunities.
Africa is the second largest continent of the world with 20% of the world’s landmass and 54 sovereign states, with 1.2 billion people and the largest youth population on the globe.
With a collective GDP of over US $ 2.3 trillion and an import market of around $500 billion, most countries in Africa are witnessing stable growth.
Due to its rich natural resources and growing middle-class consumer market, the World bank has predicted that most African countries will reach middle income status by 2025. This presents a tremendous opportunity for Pakistani goods and services.
As part of UN peace-keeping operations, Pakistan has made a significant contribution for peace, security and development on the Continent over the past several decades.