Dr. Nasir Khan, Commercial Counseller, Consulate General of Pakistan, Dubai, during the press conference for the 10th Expo Pakistan which will take place in Karachi, Pakistan. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Bilateral trade between UAE and Pakistan has reached $8.3 billion (Dh30.4 billion), recording a significant 9.4 per cent increasing during the last fiscal year 2016-17, said a senior Pakistani diplomate in Dubai.

“Trade between the two countries stood at US$7.7 billion in 2015-16 but we have witnessed a positive development during the last year,” said Dr Nasir Khan, Commercial Counsellor at the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai. He was speaking at a press conference in Dubai on Wednesday to announce details about Expo Pakistan — the largest trade fair in Pakistan, scheduled to be held from November 9 to 12 at Expo Centre Karachi. Karaman Khan, Commercial Secretary at the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi; Ahmad Shaikhani, Chairman of Pakistan Business Council in Dubai and Chaudhry Khalid Hussain, President, Pakistan Social Centre Sharjah, were also present at the press conference.

Dr Nasir said that imports from UAE to Pakistan increased last year from $6.62 billion to $7.23 billion whereas exports from Pakistan to UAE has decreased about 1.83 per cent from $1.08 billion to $1.06 billion.

He said that 10th edition of Expo Pakistan would provide more opportunities for potential buyers as it showcases the largest collection of Pakistan’s export merchandise and services. Foreign exhibitors can also use this platform to display their products.

Kamran Khan said that Pakistani missions in the UAE would take a delegation of prominent UAE-based businessmen to the Expo Pakistan. Trading Developing Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) which organises the Expo Pakistan, will also host more than 1,100 foreign delegates from 77 countries around the world to the biggest event by the authority.

He said the success of the last edition of the expo in 2015 was manifested by the participation of large number of local and foreign buyers who transacted business deal worth $1.2 billion. “The expo provides great opportunity to international buyers and visitors with a comprehensive overview of the entire Pakistani market and industry.”

Khan said that they were working with the UAE authorities to increase export of fresh fruit and vegetable from Pakistan. “We are finalising plans to operate a speed vessel from Karachi to Dubai to bring perishable items within 48 hours, reducing the current sailing time of up to eight days.

“We are also taking a delegation of technical experts from Dubai to Pakistan to meet Pakistani exporters and conduct a series of seminars and workshops educating them regarding UAE’s rules and regulations on the export of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and processed item.”

He said they would also focus more on promoting poultry products after the UAE lifted ban on its import from Pakistan in April this year.