ISLAMABAD, Jun 2 (APP):Ethiopian Ambassador to Pakistan Jamal Baker Abdullah appreciated the efforts of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari for promoting bilateral relations and starting direct flights between Pakistan and Ethiopia.
The envoy during a visit of the chamber’s office also presented a shield of honour to Ahsan Bakhtawari on behalf of his government for rendering “valuable services for the strengthening of relations between Pakistan and Ethiopia, especially for the improvement of trade relations”, an ICCI news release said on Friday.
This year, an ICCI delegation led by its President Ahsan Bakhtawari visited Ethiopia and laid the foundation for efforts to take the relations between the two countries to new heights.
Ambassador Jamal Baker Abdullah, in his remarks on the occasion, said steps were being taken by both sides to further improve their trade relations. “We hope that Pakistan and Ethiopia will be the best trade partners in the next few years.“
He said his embassy was trying for the visit of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to Ethiopia soon.
The envoy said restoration of direct flights operation between Pakistan and Ethiopia was a great opportunity for the business community of both countries and “ I hope this opportunity will be fully utilized”.
The ICCI president thanked the Ethiopian government and ambassador for acknowledging his efforts to improve the relations between the two countries.
“In fact, it is an honour for the entire Islamabad Chamber and the business community that our efforts have been recognized at the government level,” he said, adding Ethiopia was a very important for Pakistan in Africa.
He viewed that during the last year, the relations between the two countries and the interest of their business community in each other had increased enormously due to the efforts of the chamber.
He said Ethiopia should play its role to give the status of an observer to Pakistan in the African Union.
The ICCI president said the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries was necessary for increasing the volume of bilateral trade.
ICCI Vice President Engineer Azharul Islam said Ethiopia could prove to be the best market for Pakistan.
He said the warm hospitality extended to the ICCI delegation during its visit to Ethiopia was commendable and “it is hoped that this warmth will translate into better business relations”.