Hantex PCL of Thailand in collaboration with Habib
Rafique Group will make more than $ 20 million investment in textile
and hotel sectors in Pakistan. Both the companies signed a formal
agreement in this regard recently in the presence of Thai Consul
General in Lahore Zia H Rizvi. The Habib Rafique Group was represented
by Mr Khalid Rafique, the LCCI Executive Member, while Mr Somchai
Chawala signed the agreement on behalf of Hantex.
It is pertinent to mention here that a high-powered
Thai delegation is in Pakistan these days to explore trade
opportunities to strengthen bilateral relations between the two
Soon after signing of the agreement, Somchai
Chawala said that the company took the decision to make investment in
Pakistan after taking into consideration all aspects of the business
scenario in Pakistan. He said that there are a lot of opportunities
for foreign investors in Pakistan and they should avail these
Somchai Chawala said that being a new member of
ASEAN Forum, Pakistan has a big attraction for investors as structural
reforms, practical macroeconomic policies and financial discipline
have transformed it into a stable and growing economy.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI Executive Member
Khalid Rafique said that the Lahore Chamber had always been making
efforts to bring in more and more foreign investment in Pakistan and
the recent visit of LCCI delegation, led by its President Mian
Misbahur Rehman, to various European countries was enough to prove it.
The LCCI Executive Member urged the Thai
businessmen to make concerted and sector-specific efforts to exploit
trade opportunities to strengthen bilateral relations between Pakistan
and Thailand. He said that the visit of the Thai delegation is of
special significance as Pakistan is entering into a new phase of its
development process, whereby huge opportunities for joint ventures and
investment in the fields of information technology, tourism, hotel
industry, pharmaceutical, housing and construction would be generated.
He said that the visit of such a high-powered
delegation would help increase the level of understanding between the
two countries and highlight the prospects of economic cooperation
between Pakistan and Thailand. He said that exchange of delegations
always bring positive results in bilateral economic relations.
Khalid Rafique said a broad-based economic recovery
has already taken place, adding that the economic indicators in terms
of Gross Domestic Product, Balance of Payments and Foreign Exchange
Reserves are much stronger today than ever before.
"Today our foreign exchange reserves stand at
12.40 billion dollars. We have also witnessed a substantial increase
in total foreign private investment, which has touched the figure of
1,170 million dollars," he added .
Traditionally, Thailand and Pakistan enjoy steady
economic and trade relations with strong commitment to deal
collectively with global issues. Both the countries have maintained
sustained trade relations, which is evident from the volume of trade
between the two countries. Pakistan's exports to Thailand consist of
textile yarn, fabrics, petroleum, crude, leather, leather products,
cloth accessories, fish & fish preparations, cotton waste and
surgical instruments, whereas it is importing organic chemicals,
refined sugarcane, polypropylene, rubber manufactures, electrical
machinery, paper, paperboard & articles, non-ferrous metals, iron
and steel, betel leaves, chemical materials and products, dyeing and
tanning material, inorganic chemicals and professional instruments
Thailand's economy is one of the faster growing
economies in South East Asia and can be a role model for Pakistan in
many areas e.g. "one product one village approach".
Khalid Rafique said: "Taking advantage of your
presence here today I would like to say that there is a dire need to
develop close liaison between private sectors of Pakistan and
Thailand. He said that Pakistan could share experience of Thailand in
"one product one village" strategy. He said Pakistan should
adopt modern techniques for exchange of information and market
research to take advantage of each other's experience in different
fields. Gems, tourism, construction and hotel industries are such
areas where both the countries could initiate joint ventures."
Effective university-industry linkage is necessary
to cope with day-to-day challenges and if universities fail to come up
to the requirements of the industry, the wheel of the economy would
not be able to keep pace.
These views were expressed by the LCCI President,
Mian Misbahur Rehman, while addressing the students of Masters of
Business Administration (MBA), University of Faisalabad.
The Secretary, Wing Commander Mohammad Younas also
spoke on the occasion.
Mian Misbah said that the educational institutions
should know and understand the needs of the industry and adjust their
priorities accordingly. He said the LCCI on its part had formalized
such linkage with Government College University and also with TEVTA
Mian Misbah said that the Lahore Chamber of
Commerce and Industry was striving to strengthen the linkage between
university and the industry as the lack of proper coordination has
made both the sides suffer for the last many decades.