The Pakistan-Brazil Business Council (PBBC) will be established soon to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries. It was said by Brazilian Ambassador Claudio Lins while addressing a meeting at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) here on Monday.

The envoy said that honorary consular of Brazil in Lahore Hassan Mansha, Umar Farooq of Peshawar and Umar Jafar were working on it along with other leading businessmen who were already dealing with their Brazilian counterparts.

He said that after formal inauguration of Pakistan-Brazil Business Council, a dinner would be arranged in Islamabad during the next few months. He assured that the office-bearers of the FCCI would also be invited to attend this function. Responding to a question about an honorary consular from Faisalabad, he requested the FCCI president to nominate at least two persons so that he could forward this proposal to his government. He said that preferably these persons should have already business linkages with Brazil. Responding to yet another question about China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said that there was no clarity about the projects undertaken under this mega infrastructure project.

He, however, said that Pakistan needs investment and technology to upgrade its industrial sector. He also gave a detailed presentation on Brazilian expertise in hydro-electric and renewable energy resources and said that Pakistan needs medium dams, which could really help your country to fulfill its energy needs without adding carbon in the already over saturated environment. He told that Brazil was meeting its 60pc electricity needs from hydroelectric projects after China and USA. “The climate changes had also necessitated the use of safe and green energy”, he said and added that his country could help Pakistan in this sector. He said that Pakistan had a well-developed sugar industry, which could also produce Ethanol and Alcohol, which could be utilised or exported as a cheap bio fuel.

He said that he would visit University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, to discuss collaboration between the universities of the two countries working on the production of cheap and safe bio fuel.

He also presented a comprehensive documentary on Pak-Brazilian relations and said that we had many political, cultural and social similarities, which could bring the both countries closer to each other. He also endorsed the idea of frequent exchange of trade delegations and assured full cooperation to the proposed delegation of the FCCI in addition to providing them necessary information and guidance. Earlier, in his welcome address, FCCI president Muhammad Saeed Sheikh said that Pakistan and Brazil were enjoying extremely cordial and friendly relations.

“There was a tremendous trade potential between both countries and our businessmen attach great importance to their trade relations with Brazil”, he said and added that Brazil was the ninth largest economy in the world and the biggest of Latin America but our trade volume was far less than the available potential.

He said that in fiscal year 2016, bilateral trade between Pakistan and Brazil stood at $487.61 million. Brazil exported $451.68 million worth goods to Pakistan while Pakistan’s exports stood at only $35.93 million. “Thus the balance of trade was in favor of Brazil”, he added. He said that both the countries were keen to enhance good relations in the areas of trade, agriculture, defense, tourism and education.

“Brazil currently meets its 42pc energy needs from renewable sources like wind, solar and coal”, he said and added that Pakistan could also benefit from Brazil’s in the renewable energy sector.

He said that Brazil had also improved it’s per hector yield with the assistance of modern technology and double cropping system. “Pakistan could also modernize its agriculture by enhancing cooperation with Brazil in this sector”, he added. During question-answer session, Muzammil Sultan, Rana Ikram, Mian Rafi, Dr Jafar Hassan and others were also present. Later, FCCI president Muhammad Saeed Sheikh presented the FCCI shield to Claudio Lins. FCCI VP Ahmad Hassan also presented two books published by the R&D Section of the FCCI to the Brazilian ambassador.