With the aim of boosting trade and development between the African continent and Pakistan, the first-ever Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference 2020 kicked off in Nairobi on Thursday.
Hosted jointly by Kenya and Pakistan, the conference has attracted over 500 delegates from the South Asian country and African states.
Executives of over 100 leading Pakistani companies, Pakistan's trade and foreign ministers, government officials as well as business people and investors from African states are participating in the two-day conference to explore the untapped African market often dubbed as world’s “next big growth market”.
In his opening remarks, Pakistan’s Secretary of Commerce Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera said trade and commerce could solve many of the challenges faced by Africa today.
“The conference would augur well for enhancing trade and investment between African countries and Pakistan,” he said. “I hope you find these two days of meeting between B2B [Business to Business], B2G [Business to government] and G2G [Government to Government] very productive.”
EU’s Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue lauded Pakistan’s initiative of seeking business with Africa.
“This is an important development, and we have to be positive about this," he said.
A pharmaceutical company executive said he hoped for better prices from Pakistani markets.
“So far I have been promised good things [...] turning to Pakistani markets will save me a lot,” John Njoroge told Anadolu Agency.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who formally opened the conference, welcomed Pakistani investors to its markets and the greater Africa.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said trade with Africa, which had remained stagnant at $3 billion a year from 2012-13 to 2016-17, had increased to $4.6 billion in 2018-19.
"Trade volumes had been low because of low engagement between Pakistan and Africa,” it said.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.