Iraqi envoy says India deceived importers by sending rotten rice
Ambassador of Iraq in Pakistan Dr Ali Yasin Mohammed Karim has underscored the need of having twin cities agreement between Pakistan and Iraq by either declaring Karachi and Basra or Karachi and Najaf or any other city as 'twin cities' which would not only help in dealing with visa issues but will also pave the way for bringing people more close.
Exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the Iraqi ambassador added that declaring any city in Iraq and Karachi as twin cities will be an important step as there will be no visa issue and the people will be able to move freely between the twin cities without visas.
KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo, Senior Vice President KCCI Asif Nisar, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Younus Soomro and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present on the occasion.
The Iraqi ambassador further said that some factories including 18 cement manufacturing factories were available in Iraq but they were not working properly as compared to Pakistan's advanced industrial units and infrastructure.
"As factories in Iraq need improvements, therefore the private and public sectors of Iraq and Pakistan can undertake joint ventures in all the sectors of the economy. We prefer private sector's joint ventures which are quicker as compared to joint ventures at public sector level," he added.
The Iraqi envoy said that currently Iraq was mostly buying goods from China, India and some other countries whereas Pakistan can also enhance its share and efficiently compete with Chinese and Indian products through quality control.
"Four months ago, Iraq imported hundreds of tons of rice from India and the first shipment of Indian rice was good but the second shipment was 100 percent rotten, which discouraged Iraqi importers. Subsequently, the Iraqi Embassy in Pakistan was asked to find anyone who could export rice to Iraq. This trade inquiry was forwarded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to all Chambers of Commerce in Pakistan but nobody has answered us yet," he added.
To a query regarding trade opportunities in Iraq, Yasin stressed the need for frequent meetings between Karachi Chamber and Chambers of Commerce in Basra, Baghdad or Najaf in order to explore trade opportunities not just in the fabric market but also in other sectors as Iraq requires almost everything so the business community of Karachi should not confine itself to fabric market only.
Commenting on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Iraqi ambassador said that Iraq was considering to establish gas terminals at Port Qasim and Gwadar worth billions of dollars. "With CPEC many ports in the region will be paralyzed and Pakistani will be a rich country whereas most of the Pakistanis residing abroad especially in the Gulf region will return to their homes", he added
Earlier, KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo, while welcoming the Iraqi Ambassador, said that with improved law and order situation and upon completion of CPEC and Gwadar Port, this region is likely to attract substantial amount of foreign investment from different parts of the world whereas Iraq can also benefit from the situation by investing or undertaking joint ventures in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi.