By Maureen Okon
Lahore, – Nigerian businessmen and women have urged the government of Pakistan to entrench the ease of doing business to strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports on Saturday that the Nigerian delegation had a meeting the sidelines of the ongoing 2nd edition of the Engineering and Healthcare Show (EHCS) holding in Lahore.
The Nigerian delegates said this at a meeting with the Special Assistant (SA) to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Mr Malik Ghulam, when he met with the businessmen and the Nigerian community in Pakistan.
NAN also reports that, EHCS was organised by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and the Ministry of Commerce of Pakistan.
NAN reports that during the meeting some of the businessmen urged Pakistan to create a platform where they can make payments with a relative ease, adding that the protocol of business transaction was difficult.
Other speakers said the prices of pharmaceuticals products were high and urged the government to subsidise the rates of the pharmaceutical products.
Mr Ibrahim Musa, the Managing Director, IBM Investment and the Leader of the Nigerian delegation to EHCS event said: ”When the government addresses these challenges, the outcome of both countries’ achievements would be commendable.”
He added that the Nigerian pharmaceutical businessmen mostly dealt with pharmaceuticals products from China and India.
Musa said: ”Jf the government will see to the price reduction of the pharmaceutical products we will patronise Pakistani products.
“We have a huge take-over, our people mainly deal with Indians and China and we believe that Pakistan is known for quality products and that is why we want to shift our market from India and China to Pakistan.
“But, our basic problem is price challenges and some are saying that the government of India and China used to assist the manufactures by subsidising their prices.
“So, we need Pakistani government to do the needful to assist business people to beat the prices in order to penetrate the Nigerian market for all parties to benefit immensely.’’
Musa also sought the support of the government of Pakistan to collaborate in setting up joint pharmaceutical factories in Nigeria to boost both countries’ existing bilateral relations.
Responding, the SA to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Mr Ghalum, assured the Nigerian delegation that TDAP would look into their concerns as it was the purpose of the expo.
“The purpose of this expo and exhibition is for business people to have first-hand interactions with manufacturers and to see the quality of Pakistani products.
“As regards to payment issue, the whole point of the event is also to identify some of these challenges that our business people are facing.
“It is also aimed at finding lasting solutions to these problems to make the ease of doing business for our Nigeria partners smooth,’’ he said. (NAN)