PBA hosts party to mark Independence
Day, bid farewell to Amb. Mukadam
An estimated 500 guests, mostly members of the Pakistan Business Association (PBA), attended a reception hosted by President Wali Khan of the PBA at the K-Turtle Convention Hall in Mapo-gu, Seoul on Aug. 25, 2013 on the occasion of the 67th Independence Day of Pakistan.
Attending the reception, among other guests, were Ambassador Shaukat Ali Mukadam of Pakistan, Korean Honorary Consul Kim Young-il of Pakistan and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post.
Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Ali Mukadam said, “You would be aware that this year 2013 is the most significant year in Korea-Pakistan relations as we have reached 30 years of Ambassadorial level relations and 45 years of Consul General level relations. Our relations have been strengthened in all spheres.” Excerpts from the speech follow:
First of all I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations on the last Eid-ul-Fitr and the Independence Day of Pakistan.
In the last 45 years, four Prime Ministers and three Presidents have visited from Pakistan to Korea. I had the honour to arrange the visit of the Prime Minister and the President for the first time in 45 years, in the same year.
Prime Minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani visited Korea in March 2012 to attend the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit and it was an extremely important visit as he was among the few world leaders, who had made speeches at the Summit. He also met President Barrack Obama of the US, Prime Minister Recep Tayyep Erdogan of Turkey, President of Indonesia and His Majesty the King of Jordan. We also arranged meetings with a large number of Korean conglomerates with whom he had very fruitful meetings. We also arranged a short meeting of the Prime Minister with the community. He also met the Prime Minister of Korea during the visit.
In December 2012, President Asif Ali Zardari visited Korea, in response to an invitation from the then President of Korea, H.E. Mr. Lee Myung-bak, during which he held long bilateral meeting. 09 Agreements/MOUs were also signed during the visit, which included, with the Lotto Group, Samsung C&T, Exim bank, and KORAIL. Meetings were also arranged with 18 major conglomerates. The President was also welcomed at a special dinner arranged by four prominent Korea Associations.
We also tried to arrange meeting of the President with the community; but due to his travel plan to another country, this could not be arranged and his visit was slightly shortened.
In 2012, we also arranged an Investment Conference with the cooperation of the Korea-Pakistan Friendship Association on 27 August, 2012, in which the Secretary, Board of Investment, Mr. Anjou Bashir also gave a presentation. Prior to this, the Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Aim Ali Shah paid a visit with a 30 member delegation in 2011 in which we arranged Seminar and meetings with the Korean companies.
In the last three years of my tenure, by the grace of the Almighty, the volume of trade has reached US$ 1.556 billion in 2011, which was an increase of 32% as compared to 2010. Our exports increased by 85 % to US$ 736 million in 2011 and Korean exports to Pakistan increased by 5% to US$ 819 million in 2011. Again in 2012, our volume of trade further increased to US$ 1.623 billion with Pakistan’s exports being US$ 776 million and Korea’s exports being US$ 847million.
It was my target to take this volume of trade to US$ 3 billion and our exports to US$ 1 billion and I am quite hopeful that with the issue of electricity being resolved in Pakistan, we will be in a position to reach US$1 billion exports in the next three years. k