"Lack of information is coming in the way of bilateral trade and the chambers of both the countries should play role in this regard."

KHALID BUTT, Bureau Chief, Lahore
Nov 20 - 26, 2006

Jordan has a very large scope for Pakistani goods, particularly daily-use items, including leather garments, shoes, fresh fruits, rice and vegetables. Pakistani business community should come forward and initiate joint ventures with their Jordanian counterparts.

This was stated by Brig. General Zaid Ali Majali, the Head of Military Consumer Establishment Purchase Committee, while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. LCCI's acting President Yaqoob Tahir Izhar and Vice President Mubasher Sheikh also spoke on the occasion.

Zaid Ali Majali said that the existing volume of trade between Pakistan and Jordan needs a special attention and a frequent exchange of delegations. He said that lack of information is coming in the way of bilateral trade and the chambers of commerce in both the countries should play role in this regard.

Speaking on the occasion, Yaqoob Tahir Izhar said that the present scenario demands that developing economies especially the Muslim World can no longer bury their heads in sand and avoid realities. The only way out is to increase economic activity and offer preferential treatment amongst ourselves for mutual progress. The developed world is benefiting a lot in its economic pursuits due to collective participation, whereas we are not collaborating with each other despite being attached to each other under the eternal umbrella of Islam. He said that we must try to resolve our problems mutually to foster the pace of our economic development and wellbeing of Muslim Ummah. He said that Pakistan and Jordan need to strengthen their ties at the private sector level also. The present state of bilateral trade is not healthy and does not portray the picture according to the potential and needs of the two countries.

Presently, the total trade averages around a meagre figure of US$ 59 million over the last 3 years and balance of trade has always been in favour of Jordan. He said that the exports to Jordan comprises rice, fruits & vegetables, cotton, cotton yarn & fabrics, sesame seeds, surgical instruments, matches, made-up articles of textiles, fish & fish preparations and pharmaceutical products but these form a very little fragment of Jordan's imports of these commodities from the rest of the world.

For instance its imports of cotton from Pakistan in 2005 amounted to only $14.6 million against its total cotton imports valuing $65.39 million. Similarly, it imported cereals amounting to $1.2 million, fruits $ 0.2 million, fish 0.09 million and negligible quantities of textile products, leather products, sports goods and stationery books from Pakistan.

It is surprising to note that while Pakistan is a producer of finest quality of fruits, vegetables, textile products, leather products, surgical goods, etc. and its prices are also reasonable, Jordanian importers are meeting their requirements for these commodities from rest of the world.

Imports from Jordan consist of natural calcium phosphates, potassic salts, di-ammonium phosphates, aluminum waste and scrap, petroleum and petroleum products, pharmaceutical products, etc.

There is a need that Jordan enhances import of goods from Pakistan to create a win-win situation for both the countries. Pakistan is one of the leading countries in the world known for its above-mentioned products, which still need to be properly introduced in Jordanian markets.

Traditional and non-traditional exports of Pakistan like leather and leather made-ups, tents and canvas products, carpets and rugs, rice, grains and pulses, dairy products, sports goods and surgical instruments, electrical and non electrical home appliances, plastic and rubber products, light engineering products like autoparts and transport equipment, fans, cables and wires, food and live animals can come up to the expectations and requirements of Jordanian markets.

Speaking on the occasion, LCCI Vice President Mubasher Sheikh said that Pakistan is producing a fine quality of defence equipment, military vehicles and ammunitions which is being exported to Africa. Jordan should consider meeting its requirement of these commodities from Pakistan. They could contact Defence Production of Pakistan, Ministry of Defence and private manufacturers in Lahore and Karachi if they so desire.

Pakistan and Jordan are two brotherly Islamic countries, therefore, maximum efforts should be made to strengthen our relations in all fields. This calls for conducting intensive market research, holding single country exhibitions on reciprocal basis, frequent visits of trade delegations, exchange of socio-cultural programmes and establishing close contact between trade bodies like the Lahore Chamber and Amman Chamber.