Textiles & IT services have grossly untapped potential in Norway


Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has expressed his concerns that despite being suffering for the chronically deficient foreign exchange reserves, the real tangible avenues to enhance exports and earn precious foreign exchange are not being tapped.
He was discussing the issues of bilateral trade with H.E. Babar Amin, Ambassador of Pakistan in Norway; Ms. Fareena Mazhar, Secretary Board of Investment (BoI); Mr. Ahsan Ali Mangi, Secretary Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Ms. Astri Sophie Platou, Director External Affairs, Oslo Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh apprised that Pakistan’s textile sector is thriving and a major foreign exchange earner for the country. We should target Norwegian market to export value-added textile products to the country and this can be done in a short-term scenario as well.
He added that there have been major machinery imports in the textile sector in the past few years and use of synthetic fiber is also increasing the industry; and, that enables us to export value-added, world-class, cost-competitive and large-scale textile consignments to Norway.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that Pakistan’s Information Technology (IT) & IT-enabled Services (ITes) sectors are very vibrant; and, can offer a wide spectrum of IT services – both as services exports & skilled human resources to Norway. He apprised that Pakistan’s IT exports will cross the psychological barrier of $3 billion this year; however, he sees $10 billion an achievable target within the next 3 – 5 years.
FPCCI Chief also acknowledged the world-class multinationals of Norway-origin operating in Pakistan in diversified sectors and have called for joint ventures particularly in the fields of agriculture and food industries in Pakistan.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has called upon Ministry of Commerce, BoI, TDAP, PSEB and STZA to play their due role to enhance trade, economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries to help bridge the unsustainable trade deficit of $47 – 48 billion.