British Airways should start international cargo passenger flights from Sialkot: Mr. Francis | Pakistan Economic Outlook

British Airways should start international cargo passenger flights from Sialkot: Mr. Francis

SIALKOT: Mr. Francis Campbell (Director UK Trade & Investment-Pakistan and British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi) has said that following the business potential in Pakistan, the British Airways and other British Airlines should come Pakistan and British Airways should also start its international cargo passenger flights operation from Sialkot-Pakistan to different international destination.

He stated this while replying to a question raised by a local leading freight forwarder Muhammad Yousuf during an important meeting held at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

British Deputy HC said that the global misperception about Pakistan has gone to an end and now UK should bring maximum investment in Pakistan in every shape and top encourage everything that grows trade between UK and Pakistan, saying that it was the time for British Airways and other British airlines to come back to Pakistan.

On this occasion, SCCI President urged that the British High Commission may encourage British Airways to operate passenger and cargo flights between Sialkot and UK, saying that it would be a profitable commercial venture.

President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhary has said that Pakistan and UK enjoy friendly relations in all fields. Our political relationship is close and cordial and our trade relations are based on mutual trust.

He stated this while talking to the visiting Mr. Francis Campbell (Director UK Trade & Investment-Pakistan and British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi) who visited Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

SCCI President added that the bilateral trade was worth approximately US$ 1.7 billion in 2010. Pakistan’s share in UK imports is only 0.20 percent, which needs to be enhanced with the kind cooperation of the British government.

Pakistan is facing severe power crisis, which seems difficult to overcome. However, we believe that the crisis could be resolved if friendly countries like UK help us in power generation.

SCCI Chief revealed that SCCI enjoys most friendly relations with British High Commission Islamabad. He thanked the British High Commission for extending best cooperation to Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). The issuance of UK visas to SCCI members on SCCI recommendation under special arrangements has been the high point of this relationship.

He expressed concern over the situation that in recent times most genuine SCCI members, being frequent travellers, have been refused visas, which has been a matter of concern for us. He narrated that the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) issues Visa Recommendatory Letters after foolproof scrutiny and verification, through a Special Committee. He urged that the British High Commission may kindly take into account our strict verification process and consider our recommendations favourably.

Sialkot is the only export-oriented city in Pakistan where 99 percent items produced are exported to all parts of the world. Through exports, Sialkot based small and medium industries are earning foreign exchange of US$ 1.25 Billion annually.

SCCI President Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhary told the Mr. Francis Campbell (Director UK Trade & Investment-Pakistan and British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi) that Sialkot made footballs, field hockey sticks, cricket gear, and boxing gloves are used in international games including the Olympics and World Cups. Most of the developed countries are importing surgical instruments from Sialkot. In leather products and textile sportswear, we excel in quality and style. Similar is the case with other items produced in Sialkot.

Sialkot International Airport, an only project of its type in the country built by the private sector, is now functional.

International and domestic passenger and cargo flights have started from the Sialkot International Airport.

He urged that the British High Commission may encourage British Airways to operate passenger and cargo flights between Sialkot and UK, which surely would be a profitable commercial venture.

The Exporters in Sialkot fully recognize the importance of compliance to quality, social and environment standards that have become mandatory for selling the products to foreign buyers. I am pleased to mention that Sialkot has major share of the Certified Companies in Pakistan, SCCI President further stated.

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