ISLAMABAD: United Arab Emirates Ambassador Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salim Alzaabi has maintained that the Dubai Expo will serve as a stimulus to accelerate the vibrant economic activities in this region by offering extensive investment, marketing and export opportunities to the global investors.
Addressing the business community in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Tuesday, he expressed satisfaction over the brotherly relations between Pakistan and the UAE. He said that Pakistan was the third country that had recognised the UAE about 50 years ago. Ambassador Al-Zaabi announced that the 50th anniversary of the relationship this year would be celebrated in a historic manner. He said that 1.7 million Pakistanis were working in the UAE. “They are not only contributing to the economic uplift of the UAE but also sending six billion dollars in foreign remittances to Pakistan”, he said.
The ambassador expressed stratification over the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries and said that about three years ago when he took over, the bilateral trade was 14 billion dollars which is now touching the figure of 17 billion dollars. He said that Emirates Airlines was operating day and night for the convenience of importers and exporters.
“Pakistan is exporting mango and other fruits to fulfil the domestic needs of the UAE in addition to sending the same to the other international destinations.” The UAE envoy said that the world was facing challenges of food security and “we must join hands to meet our food requirements in the wake of corona pandemic.” He said that the UAE was introducing a golden and green visa policy to attract maximum participation in the Dubai Expo.
“Under a new policy multiple visas would be issued instead of single-entry visas to the foreign investors”, he said and assured that the details of the golden and green visa policy would be provided very soon to the FCCI for its onward distribution among its members. He said that currently UAE visa centers were working in Islamabad and Karachi while a new center would become operational very soon in Lahore.
“The investors of the UAE could fulfil their needs of manpower through this visa center”, he said.
He said that both the countries enjoyed the best cordial relations, as he had good relations with relevant authorities here in Pakistan.
He denied the impression that the UAE had suspended air flights from Pakistan to Dubai because of Delta Virus threat. He clarified that the step was taken at the request of the Pakistan government. He said that Pakistani investors should also avail the facility of golden and green visas to establish their links with the global markets through the UAE.
Earlier, FCCI President Engineer Hafiz Ihtisham Javed told the ambassador that Faisalabad contributed 33pc to the overall exports and 65pc to textile exports of the country.
A question-answer session was also held. Vice-President Ayub Aslam Manj, Ubaidullah Sheikh, Abdul Ghafoor and Hafiz Shafiq Kashif participated in the session.
Later, President Engineer Ihtisham Javed presented an FCCI memento to the UAE ambassador while Senior Vice-President Chaudhary Tallat Mehmood expressed the vote of thanks.