KARACHI, Jul 21 (APP): Consul General of the Republic of Korea Yi Sungho, on Friday, informed that the Korean Government was setting up an IT Centre in Karachi to provide young IT startups an opportunity to start working with Korea.
The Korean envoy, during a visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said that the Korean government was keen to support Pakistan in developing its IT sector and an IT center has already been completed in Islamabad.
He urged Pakistan to come up with strong policies to train and educate young people in the IT sector and must also invest more money in education and training to find some geniuses who could bring revolution not only in IT but also in other sectors of the economy.
Korean Envoy pinpointing the low volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Korea observed “Trade between the two countries kept growing until 2019, but it suffered setbacks after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which was followed by some economic difficulties in Pakistan”.
Efforts were being made to enhance existing trade volume, he added while expressing optimism that trade between Korea and Pakistan will rebound again in the future.
He said, “To support Pakistan’s economy in its quest for fetching maximum workers’ remittances, the Korean Government encourages Pakistani workers to work in Korea, hence, we extended the maximum quota for Pakistani Workers to 4,000 workers, of which 3,000 workers have already been called to Korea.”
Commenting on the investment potential of Korean textile companies, the envoy pointed out that most of the Korean companies moved their manufacturing units to Bangladesh with the passage of time where they were doing quite well.
“If Pakistan provides a good business environment, these Korean companies will certainly move their units here in Pakistan mainly due to low labor cost which is the most important element of cost of doing business,” he said.
He mentioned that Korean companies moved to Bangladesh due to low labor costs but now, the cost of labor in Pakistan was even lower than what it was in Bangladesh which could encourage many Korean companies to move businesses to Pakistan but the other conditions for doing business must also be the same as being offered in Bangladesh.
The Korean CG informed that Pakistan’s Embassy in Korea will also be holding an Investment and Trade Promotion Conference next week wherein the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Board of Investment (BoI) will be explaining the overall investment environment and regulations in Pakistan to Korean companies.
“A University in Islamabad has also started offering Korean Language Courses but no such course is, unfortunately, being offered here in Karachi”, he mentioned while expressing his willingness to open such Korean Language Learning Centre in Karachi.
Earlier, President KCCI Tariq Yousuf, while warmly welcoming the Korean Ambassador, stressed that Pakistan and South Korea need to accelerate bilateral trade volume and devise a clear roadmap for Free Trade Agreement which would pave the way for improved trade relations and open up new dimensions.
He urged Korean companies to explore JVs and investment in SEZs under CPEC and added that the One-Belt-One-Road initiative could prove to be beneficial for enhancing trade between the two countries whereas the Visa regime also needs to be eased for greater matchmaking between the two countries.
He was of the view that Korean corporations can also help the local economy by creating value addition in the textile sector, coastal belts, and Technology Parks. “Participation in trade fairs and exhibitions would be a great way for the business community of both countries to explore new trade avenues and promotion strategies”, he added.
Vice President KCCI Mohammad Haris Agar, Chairman Diplomatic Missions and Embassies Liaison Sub-committee Zia ul Arfeen, and KCCI Managing Committee Members attended the meeting.