NATIONAL: (By Yasir Habib Khan)– Pakistan and South Africa has opened a new chapter of trade ties with the formation of first Pakistan-Africa Trade Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Story was prepared and released by The South Africa News, www.thesanews.co.za)
Pakistan-Africa Trade Center came into being after a proposal to establish a warehouse of Pakistani goods (Pakistan-Africa Trade Centre) in Johannesburg was submitted to Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) in January 2011.
TDAP took stock of “Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-15” and finally approved the plan to provide ‘Retail Outlet Abroad Scheme’ for three years. On assurance, Pakistan High Commission in Johannesburg motivated a local businessman of Pakistan origin, Mr. Mehmood Rangoonwala, CEO of M/s Terry World for the investment in the Scheme.
15,000 square meters land has been bought and it is hoped that construction will commence in the coming days. It will be completed in one year. The plot is situated in front of M/s Makro (subsidiary of M/s. Walmart) and bordering China Mall. Building of ‘Pakistan-Africa Trade Centre’ is designed as two storey building housing 140 shops, with a possibility to add another 70 shops.
Being a public private partnership project, Center will give a sound base to Pakistani exports to display their goods in South Africa. “Pakistan-Africa Trade Centre’ is a milestone development in meeting trade target of US $ 2 billion with South Africa by 2016.
Pakistani High Commissioner to South Africa Zaigham uddin Azam unveiled Pakistan-Africa Trade Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa under the aegis of Public-private partnership through with M/s Terry world and M/s Crown.
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) will represent Pakistan through Trade Commission of Pakistan, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The establishment of Trade Center is hoped to cultivate extensive opportunities of trade between both countries. Traders characterize the step as catalyst to the Pakistani exports in the African Continent as South Africa is known as a gateway to the continent.
South Africa buyers aspire direct meeting and dealing with the foreign traders and Pakistan-South Africa Trade Center will provide unique opportunity to Pakistani entrepreneurs and exporters to put on display their products under one roof. As per initial plan, decision has been taken to showcase over 200 products shortly.
South Africa emerges as fastest growing economies of the African continent with having GDP of US $ 410 billion. Pakistan holds it at great esteem for being its best trading partner in the African Continent.
Pakistan and South African bilateral trade stands at around US $ 640 million. The Trade volume is rising seamlessly but desired target is yet to be achieved so far.
TDAP officials told The South Africa News that South Africa local buying houses and chain stores never got involved in importing directly and has a mindset to do business with the local trading houses and brokers.
With inclusion of middlemen, Pakistani exporters have to face cut in profit. That is why China and India taking step to minimize the role of middlemen have opened up ware houses and multiple trade offices in South Africa.
They said that trade ministry held plenty of meetings with top management of Chamber of Commerce and Industry and reached the conclusion that unless Pakistani goods were not displayed directly in South Africa market, trade with South Africa would remain at lowest ebb.
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