By: Faiz Al-Najdi
RIYADH: The envoys from the Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh held an important meeting with Dr. Abdurrahman A. Al-Zamil – the Chairman Council of Saudi Chambers (aka: CSC) this past week at the Chairman CSC’s office in Riyadh.
Hassan Wazir Counselor as Acting Charge d’ Affairs and Waseem Bajwa Commercial Attache represented Pakistan Embassy while Council of Saudi Chambers was led by the Chairman Board of Directors Dr. Abdurrahman A. Al-Zamil. Dr. Saud A. Al-Mashari – Assistant Secretary General for Legal and Administrative Affairs at CSC– also joined this important parley.
In his discussion, Hassan Wazir touched base on the brotherly relations that existed between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and emphasized on the need to strengthen this relation particularly in trade, commerce and economic affairs.
Chairman Dr. Abdurrahman Al-Zamil reciprocated an emphasized on the importance of Pak-Saudi politico-economic relations and stressed on the need of improving the trade relations which, according to him, did not commensurate with the actual potential and strength of both the countries. He laid particular emphasis on revitalizing the Pakistani human resource in the services and construction sectors by virtue of their huge demand in the Kingdom. He proposed that the Pakistani government and private training institutions must focus on fulfilling the demand and needs of Saudi market by providing the requisite trained manpower to the Saudi companies. Dr. Zamil while speaking on the investment opportunities in the kingdom also emphasized on bringing public listed and big companies from Pakistan in the construction, technology, agriculture and services sectors.
Waseem Bajwa – Commercial Attaché at the Embassy of Pakistan – briefed on the issue of potential & ability of training institutions of Pakistan both in the private and government sectors and proposed to have effective collaboration with the Saudi companies by establishing a specialized center to cater for the Saudi market. Bajwa then broached on some important issues requiring cooperation from the Council of Saudi Chambers involving registration of Pak-Saudi Joint Chambers of Commerce & Industry with the Council of Saudi Chambers. Bajwa proposed hosting of a single country exhibition respectively both in the Kingdom and in Pakistan. Bajwa also requested for facilitation in the business visas and cooperation in the education sector.
Responding to the proposals from Bajwa, Chairman of CSC Dr. Zamil explained that with regard to the issue of collaboration with the Saudi Chambers with other countries they were in a process of making new rules which would hopefully be ready in 2-3 weeks’ time. “We would then accordingly form the joint councils with different countries including Pakistan,” Dr. Zamil added. With regard to the proposal of a single country exhibition, Dr. Zamil welcomed this idea and advised Bajwa to initiate with the implementation plan.
On the issue of facilitation on business visa issue, Bajwa explained that there was a clear direction from the Government of Pakistan to grant business visas to Saudi businessmen within 72 hours and accordingly such Visas were being issued. “However, on the other hand the Pakistani businessmen aspiring to visit Saudi Arabia were in fact facing difficulties in getting visas from Saudi Embassy in Pakistan,” Bajwa informed.
Chairman Dr. Zamil agreed to take up this issue of business visa with the concerned authorities particularly with regard to the genuine businessmen and potential companies interested to invest in Saudi Arabia. Pertaining to the issue of collaboration in the education sector vis-a-vis establishment of Pakistani engineering and medical colleges here in the Kingdom, Chairman Dr. Zamil informed that CSC was also ready to look into it and extend facilitation.
The meeting concluded on a positive note and with mission to pursue the important issues through regular interactions from both parties.