With the 2020 fiscal year indicating that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia has increased to $2.181 billion, ties with the Kingdom seem to be looking up—both politically and economically. While addressing a webinar, Pakistan’s Consul General in Jeddah, Khalid Majeed, announced the objective to maximise exports to the ally and become the provider for specific markets like textiles, surgical and sports equipment, organic food items, financial services, insurance and entertainment products as well. If successful, we stand to create a mutually beneficial economic partnership.
While the Kingdom already accounts for 30 percent of all remittances sent to Pakistan, there is much more that can be done to promote trade between the two countries. One worthy market that the webinar helped highlighting was that of textiles. A majority of Saudi Arabia’s textile demands were met by Bangladesh and India previously but there is an opportunity for Pakistan to step in. Focusing on Faisalabadi textiles, it was deemed that they match the consumer expectations of quality and price perfectly and, as such, should be mass-exported to the country. It would be to our detriment if we let this prospect go by. Furthermore, Pakistan has one of the best commodities to offer considering our roots in the agricultural sector. Similarly, the production of all kinds of equipment, especially medical and sports, is proficient to say the least. Exporting these will not only ensure that good quality products flood Saudi Arabia’s markets but would also prove to be profitable for Pakistan.
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The persistence of the Pakistani consulate with regards to encouraging trade with its Muslim brother is appreciated. Now, the government must ensure that all initiatives are executed efficiently and that similar steps are taken with Pakistan’s other allies. Only through fostering relationships with regional powers will Pakistan also be able to ascend further.