ISLAMABAD: Pakistani exporters received more than $5 million worth of export orders from Sudan under the ‘Look Africa’ policy.
An official announcement by the Ministry of Commerce said that the orders are the outcome of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) International Trade Fair at Khartoum which was held from Jan 21 to 28, 2021. This participation has opened up new avenues for trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and Sudan. The event generated business of around $2 million, the announcement said. Agriculture machinery, pharmaceutical, glass Industry, and fruit industry received big orders.
Moreover, deals worth $3m are under process and will very soon be matured between the Pakistani exporters and Sudanese buyers. New exporters from PVC, corona-related personal protection equipment (PPEs) and beauty products also received a very encouraging response.
The ‘Look Africa Plan’ was launched in 2017. Under the policy, top 10 African countries including Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Senegal Tanzania, and Ethiopia were selected for trade promotions. All these countries constitute 78pc of the total African gross domestic product (GDP), according to the IMF in 2017-18.
The announcement said figures for export orders from Sudan were discussed in a consultative meeting — chaired by Commerce Adviser Razak Dawood — at the TDAP in Karachi.
Being the marketing arm of the commerce ministry, the role of TDAP in implementation of the Look Africa Policy was crucial, Mr Dawood said.
He was of the view that Africa has immense potential for engineering and pharmaceutical products. Although the numbers are small, the products and direction are right, he said.
Mr Dawood advised the TDAP to strive even harder to promote local exports in new geographies like Africa so that the geographic basket of markets for Pakistan is diversified.
Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2021