1. What are the volumes of bilateral trade between the two countries
Pakistan is an attractive destination for foreign investors and Argentina investors are taking keen interest to invest in this country. In 2006-07, total trade between Pakistan and Argentina stood at US$ 106.398 million out of which Pakistan’s exports were US$ 42.07 million and imports from Argentina were US$ 64.328 million showing a trade balance in favor of Argentina of US$ 22.258 million. Things are moving in the right direction and we hope that with the passage of time and the help of institution like the different Chambers of Commerce of the main cities of Pakistan the bilateral trade volumes would increase in different fields and sectors.
2. How the volumes of bilateral trade can be increased?
Argentina is keen to enhance its present trade volume with Pakistan. We need to further enhance collaboration between the public and private sectors of Pakistan and Argentina. My Embassy is very keen in facilitating the exchange of business delegations between the two countries. Regular exchange of business delegations, business and industrial exhibitions, exchange of information, close cooperation between the chambers of commerce between of both countries may bring desired results in the days to come. Moreover, visa processing system for business purpose has improved in order to enhance trade and economic ties with each other.
3. What are potential areas where Argentina could help?
Argentina has expertise in edible oil, iron, steel, CNG, pharmaceutical products, chemicals etc and Pakistan offers lots of investment potential in these sectors. Argentina ranks first among CNG users in the world and it is the major producer and exporter of CNG cylinders, car kits, CNG station compressors and dispensers. He said the sales of Argentinean CNG equipments to Pakistan have risen to $2.34 million in the first trimester of 2008. In future, some of our companies would be looking to start cylinders manufacturing in Pakistan.
4. Is any Argentina company investing/working in Pakistan?
Several private companies of Argentina are working or dealing with Pakistan. Probably the most important at the moment is a pharmaceutical company BAGO S.A. that in Joint Venture with Ferozsons Laboratories have invested for the construction of a Biotechnological Pharmaceutical Plant for manufacturing medicines for cancer, and Hepatitis B and C treatment. Another, Argentine company, Argentoil SA has decided to invest in Pakistan for the local production of CNG cylinders. The partner for this joint venture is Wah Industries Limited, the commercial branch of the largest and the most important industrial complex of Pakistan. This joint venture, envisages the construction of a plant in the Wah area, the transfer of top of line technology and the local production of CNG cylinders for motors vehicles and filling stations. It will manufacture 250,000 cylinders per year, covering mainly the Pakistani market. Another important project is the Joint Venture between Galileo S.A. of Argentina and JS group of Pakistan for the construction of around 100 CNG gas stations using probably the most technological advance compressors of the international market.
5. What are the areas of mutual cooperation and collaboration?
Argentina is also interested in promoting the collaboration with Pakistan in the dairy sector. Pakistan has a huge production of milk of around 10 billion annual litres, but the main problem that exists in Pakistan is that more than the 50% of that milk gets spoiled because of the lack of good cold chain system. That’s why Argentina wants to sell to Pakistan, cooling tanks to be installed at the many production units in the country so that the milk when is milked from the cows or buffalos is immediately preserved on this tanks under a temperature of 4C. Later that milk will be collected by a cooling truck and sended to the industrial circuit. Argentina wants also to collaborate with Pakistan in the agriculture sector and can supply agricultural equipment as per requirement of Pakistan. We are closely collaborating with the PARC (Pakistan Agricultural Research Council) in this area and most probably we will come out with important projects.
6. What are the areas of joint ventures?
The most important areas of cooperation are:-
Agriculture, alternative energies, pharmaceutics, CNG, CNG Buses for passengers etc. Both the countries have potential sectors for joint ventures.
7. What are the main exports of Pakistan to Argentina?
Textile yarn & fabrics, sports goods, surgical instruments, articles of apparel/cloth accessories and some chemical products.
8. What are the prospects of having agri cooperation?
Argentina is very much interested in extending cooperation in the agri sector. Bio-energy, animal vaccines laboratories, horticulture, sunflower seed, sugarcane production could be some of the major areas of cooperation between the two countries. We assured that trade and economic relation would be further strengthened in the days ahead, as you can see by the tendencies through
9. Do you have any development in Basha Dam project?
Argentina has expertise in hydel and thermal power generation, particularly in construction of turbines. The Argentinean Company IMPSA was invited to participate in various hydro projects such as Golden Gol Power Plant in Chitral and in the face III of Bhasha Dam
10. What is the chance of mutual cooperation in Agriculture and livestock?
Argentina and Pakistan are keen to cooperate in the fields of livestock. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation for the development of the livestock sector, hybrid sunflower and soybean seed production and installation of meat and milk processing units in Pakistan. Both countries can set up joint venture programmes in Pakistan for the upgrading of the livestock sector and he highlighted the need for training in the meat production and processing area. Argentina wants to provide cooling plants for the processing of meat in Pakistan.
11. Pace and volumes of bilateral trade cements overall bilateral ties between the countries. How you evaluate bilateral trade relations?
Both sides recognized strong links of friendship and solidarity that exists between the two countries, and emphasized that steps may be taken to further enhance bilateral economic cooperation and increase the level of trade. There are opportunities for Pakistan to export cotton, textile, surgical & sports goods. The sale of Pakistani textile to Argentina be they simple fibers or expensive branded clothes, has been growing steadily. The presence of Pakistan exporters in the Argentine market has also made itself felt in the medical and deontological instruments. Quality and competitive prices have turned these products into favorite of Argentine buyers, who value the “Made in Pakistan” imprint. Many Argentine importers have turned from Germany to Pakistan suppliers of the products mainly in surgical instruments.
Argentina sells to Pakistan: ceramics tiles, CNG, cylinders, kits and compressors, wheat, Sorgho, eatable oil, pharmaceutical products etc and offers Argentina assistance to enhance the agro and dairy products.
The cooperation would also be extended to other area like agriculture and pharmaceutical industry. Pakistani surgical equipments, sports goods (specially football balls) and textile items are well known in Argentina. We are in the process of an agreement between Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry with an Argentine Chamber of Commerce for increasing bilateral trade and flow of information between the private sectors of the two countries.
12. Do you think that Pakistani manufacturers may import laminated steel, seamed and seamless pipes from your country?
Right now, Pakistan is importing a huge amount of laminated steel, seamed and seamless pipes from Argentine for the Pakistani industry. WE hope that in the days to come the trade volumes would
What is the development in pharmaceutical plant in Lahore?
Argentine has invested in the pharmaceutical sector and has already built a very modern and sophisticated pharmaceutical plant in Lahore with advance Bio-technology at a cost of $15 million dollar. We hope it would be inaugurated soon by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. This Plant will produce medicines to treat cancer and hepatitis. It would be a product of joint venture between the Argentinean Pharmaceutical Company ‘Laboratorios Bago’ and Pakistan’s ‘Ferozsons Laboratories.’ We hope this Pak-Argentine Joint Venture would help people of Pakistan access to cheaper medicines as well as to reduce foreign imports of those essential products.
13. How inflows of FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments) can be attracted in Pakistan?
A good and steady macroeconomic policy, trustable law and order situation, legal protection of investments, institutionalization of intellectual property rights [IPR] laws, skilled labor, better infrastructure, modern communications, good investment policy, and the end of the ongoing energy crisis could boost the chances of attracting more FDI, and joint ventures in Pakistan.
14. How misperceptions between the two countries can be eliminated?
Both the countries do not have any misperceptions. But the people-to-people interaction, dialogue, mutual understanding, student exchange programs, business community contacts, politicians and press meetings can be beneficial to remove the misconceptions about Pakistan and will further enhance your national drive of soft image.
15. His Excellency How you compare culture of Argentine with the native country? Further more do you like your stay in Pakistan?
Argentina is the second largest country in Latin America. It is located in southernmost South America. It has a distinctly European heritage. Most people are direct descendants of Italian, Spanish, French, and German immigrants. Argentina comprises a diverse territory of mountains, upland areas, and plains. The culture of Argentina is as varied as the country’s geography and mix of ethnic groups.
Argentineans are very energetic people, with a high level of education and they are also entrepreneur people who believe in fair competition and professionalism. Life in my country and in the main cities is very colorful and secure. Every citizen enjoys full basic human rights. We are a liberal nation that believes in democracy, development and dialogue. We respect human values and always ready to extent help to others irrespective of religion, caste, color. We have our own pragmatic social system. We are hardworking people who believe in simplicity, endurance, prudence, and above all struggle.
I really, appreciate the people of Pakistan for their good spirits of hospitality, friendship and always open for cooperation. The people of Pakistan are second to none and multi-talented. I admire the passionate, sincere and friendly spirits of Pakistani people. I am privileged to have interacted during my 5 years in this country with people at all levels of society and I am really impressed with their friendly and liberal conduct and behavior with me and my family. I claim my stay in Pakistan as a golden era of my ambassadorial career. I like its social norms, cultural values, and personal qualities.
16. Argentine has a rich culture, civilization, heritage and history and Pakistan too. How, the cultural activities and heritage exchange could be enhanced between the two countries.
We have our own unique civilization, heritage and culture. Our culture has been blend of many European architecture, literature and plastic artists. We have a very famous music: classic, folk and popular a world wide renown dance the tango and a romantic language Spanish with several and very well known writers like Borges, Sabato, Hernandez, Guiraldes, Ocampo, Cortazar, Bioy Casares etc. We are a prosperous, open and liberal country. We are proud of our heritage and we pay homage the to our ancestors.
It is the lesson of global history that strong cultural linkages always play a very important role in enhancing bilateral relations between the countries. Cultural affiliation remained instrument to bring people closer and break many misperceptions. It succeeded to increase the levels of mutual understanding. It builds trustworthy people-to-people contacts. It creates harmony and projects the spirits of cooperation and collaboration. More people-to-people contacts, exchange of intellectuals, exchange of students, grant of scholarships, frequent cultural delegations, and exchange of informative documentaries, music, film and dramas would be helpful to put Pakistan and Argentina closer.
17. How you evaluate bilateral relations between the two countries?
Argentina is an old friend of Pakistan; as a matter of fact I think that Argentina is one of the first countries to recognize the creation of Pakistan and to establish an Embassy as well. One of my main target as Ambassador is that of boasten and strengthening the bilateral relations, including trade, for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries. We have been helping each other for many years to confront any natural calamity. Argentina made an important donation of antibiotic medicines to the victims of the earthquake in 2005 and later a donation valued on 1.2 million dollars of medicines for cancer treatment to most of the oncological institutions of Pakistan. With the passage of years our bilateral relations are becoming stronger and stronger.
18. What is your message to people of Pakistan?
I have served for almost five years in this lovely country of Pakistan. I should say that my experience so far has been great. I find Pakistan a beautiful country with very warm, generous, and friendly people.
I know that Pakistan is at the moment passing through very critical situation, struggling against terrorism and serious economic and domestic problems like: energy crises, increasing inflation, huge unemployment and internal political confrontation.
The real challenge for the Pakistani government is how to develop a strong democracy through the practice of effective governance and transparency and the participation of whole society in order to promote strong human development in the country.
I am indeed honored to represent my country in Pakistan with the strong support of the government officials of the country as well as the dynamic private sector. I can say without any doubt that the relationship between Argentina and Pakistan has grown enormously during the last 5 years : we have initiated several joint ventures, there have been trade missions in both direction, we succeeded to put into function a science & technology cooperation, we have started an interesting parliamentarian dialogue and last but not the least, Pakistan has several cultural and sports activities performed by Argentineans in collaboration with Pakistanis: The first painting exhibition, the annual polo exhibition matches, important number of Argentinean mountain climbers, and the teaching of Spanish language at the NUML university.