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UAE's imports from Pakistan rise 50% to $1.8b

The UAE's imports from Pakistan increased 50 per cent this year compared with the previous year, according to trade figures from the Pakistani Commercial Office in Dubai. Imports increased from $1.2 billion in 2007 to $1.8 billion in 2008. The UAE was the largest importer from Pakistan in the Arab region.

The Arab region imported goods worth $3.36 billion in the July 2007-May 2008 period, an increase of 40.4 per cent from the year before. Mansour Bajwa, commercial counsellor for Pakistan in Dubai, told Gulf News that the main imports to the UAE include textiles, leather and rice. "Pakistan is also increasing exports of gems and jewellery, fruits and vegetables, IT software exports and petroleum products, particularly to the UAE," he said.

Pakistan's other major export items are cement, sports and surgical goods, livestock and marble. After the global food crisis, GCC countries have been looking across their borders for agriculture investment to secure their food resources. Pakistan has seen significant initial interest for agricultural land. "UAE investors are looking to invest in agriculture, livestock and dairy in Pakistan," Bajwa said, adding that the country is the fifth largest milk-producing country in the world but one that needs "facilities for processing the milk and the by-products".

Growing interest

He said that "a lot of investors have shown interest" in the first Middle East-Pakistan agriculture and dairy investment forum, Abraaj CapitalAbraaj CapitalLoading... and other UAE companies and institutions have acquired farmland in Pakistan. At the agriculture forum in Dubai last April, "investors pledged over $3 billion worth of new investments in Pakistan's agriculture and dairy sectors, highlighting the country's potential for milk and fruit production," according to a Gulf Research Centre report on agriculture investment.


Publication date: 10/6/2008


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