APD | Feature: Yiwu’s versatile commodities change fortunes of Pakistani businesses

BY APD NEWSNov 09,2018 at 14:11

By APD writer Muhammad Sohail

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 9 (APD) -- Arbaz Khan, a Pakistani entrepreneur who was once struggling in his business as a small shopkeeper, has now become a successful businessman after he established his own company and initiated trade with Chinese companies located in China’s international trade city of Yiwu.

The 48-year-old Khan was running a small shop offering different commodity products in the College Road Market in Rawalpindi, a garrison city adjacent to capital Islamabad.

Khan had been working hard from dawn to dusk but his income was not enough to meet his and his family’s everyday rising financial needs. 

“In 2005, one day, I got an inspiration from another successful businessman who was importing products from Yiwu city of China. I started learning how to do business with Chinese traders. Later, I started importing products, including toys, interior decoration items, and kitchen items, from Yiwu for distribution in my city,” Khan told APD on Thursday.

Khan said that fortunes started showering at him after he initiated business with Yiwu. And sometimes he was facing difficulty to meet the products demands.

“Small shopkeepers from across my district were rushing to me for the products because I was offering modern and quality products on compatibility rates,” said Khan.

Khan’s success became a guiding pillar for other because several other traders also followed his footsteps and established their import business with Yiwu.

Thousands of Pakistani traders visit Yiwu every year to make business deals because Yiwu products produced on modern lines are very popular among Pakistani customers.

Last month, a great number of Pakistani businessmen attended the 24th China Yiwu International Commodities (Standards) Fair with a hope that it would help the country's businessmen to find out new business opportunities. 

According to the reports, the Yiwu Fair provided 4,136 international standard booths, attracting 2,150 exhibitors from foreign countries. More than 60,000 transactions and cooperation intentions were reached, with a total turnover of RMB 18.428 billion, up 3.1 percent year-on-year

During the five-day event, Yiwu Fair attracted 204,695 visitors and buyers, up 13.09 percent year-on-year. Among them, 58,462 were professional buyers, up 2.8 percent year-on-year. The number of overseas buyers reached 8,066, coming from 179 countries and regions, among which the top ten were India, Pakistan, South Korea, Yemen, Taiwan, Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Malaysia. 

56 out of the 65 “Belt and Road” countries and regions also exhibited at the Yiwu Fair, the reports said.

Pakistani businessmen named Syed Ummar Ali Bukhari who has settled in Yiwu over years represented the country at the fair which was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Commerce and the People's Government of Zhejiang province. 

“The event held key importance as it introduced the Pakistani businessmen with new products and technologies emerging at the global level,” said Bukhari.

Khan believed that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has left a positive impact at his business because during last couple of years he has also received orders from Chinese importers who wanted to import brass made artifacts from Pakistan.

Khan has already exported over 1,200 pieces of handmade artifacts of brass to Yiwu, which were widely welcomed due to their quality and unique formation.

Pakistan’s incumbent government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, soon after taking charge of the government in August, expressed a desire to jack up the country’s overall annual exports to 27 billion U.S. dollars from existing 23.4 billion U.S. dollars in the ongoing fiscal year.

Imran Khan visited China earlier this year when both sides agreed to work on to increase the bilateral trade between the two sides. A high-level Pakistani team left on Thursday for Beijing to discuss how to facilitate bilateral trade and resolve other issues.


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