UK for long term trade ties with Pakistan

LAHORE: The British government is committed to a long-term, productive and friendly partnership with Pakistan. The United Kingdom views Pakistan as a long-term strategic partner and would continue to support all its endeavours aimed at expansion of trade relations between the two countries.

The views were expressed by Deputy High Commissioner and Director UK Trade and Investment Francis Campbell while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday.

The UK Deputy High Commissioner discussed in detail available investment opportunities and exploration of new avenues for investment with the members of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik, former LCCI Presidents Mian Anjum Nisar, Mian Muzaffar Ali, former Senior Vice President Tahir Javaid Malik, former Vice President Aftab Ahmad Vohra and Conveners of LCCI Standing committees Mian Zahid Javaid and Rehmatullah Javaid also spoke on the occasion.

The UK Deputy High Commissioner and Director Trade and Investment said that the UK government is foreseeing better economic and investment outlook in Pakistan and encouraging its companies to make more investments here.

Francis Campbell pointed out that British entrepreneurs working in Pakistan were looking forward to opportunities to further increase their operations by expanding existing projects and exploring new avenues for investment. It is big opportunity for Pakistani businessmen to initiate Joint Ventures with their UK counterparts.

He added that a good number of UK companies are keen to invest in Pakistan in different sectors. The British government has been motivating their business people to make investments in Pakistan, said Francis Campbell.

While calling for concrete steps to enhance diversified strategic partnership between the two countries, the LCCI former President and SAARC Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik said that fostering relations with the UK is a cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy as Pakistan views the United Kingdom as an important member of the G-8 and the EU, and a partner in the Commonwealth.

The LCCI former President said that the volume of total two-way trade can easily break the barrier of US$2 billion if some further avenues of trade are explored with the joint efforts by both the sides.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said that the UK is known to have expertise in agriculture sciences that provides specific insight and technologies into the sub-fields like crop genetics, sustainable pest and disease management, seed and plant sciences, composts & synthetic soils etc. “We do need your technical help and guidance to make the most of our available agriculture resources and also develop much required agriculture-industry linkage.

He said that Pakistan has a great potential in Mines and Minerals development, as important minerals found in Pakistan are iron ores, limestone, chromites, silver, gold, gems stones, marble, copper, graphite etc. He urged the British investors to explore the untapped potential of this sector which will surely result in win-win situation for all.

The UK has gone one step ahead from Industrial Textiles through mastering in Technical Textiles which describes the growing variety of products and manufacturing techniques for technical properties and performance. Being dependent on textiles sector which directly and indirectly engages almost two third of Pakistan’s resources, transfer of UK technology to Pakistan would be of great help. Other sectors include Medical Technologies with special focus on Industrial Biotechnology and Science Parks.

Moreover, he said, the UK was successfully implementing very advanced systems in Education and Banking sectors therefore, joint ventures could be a good option to develop these sectors on modern lines in Pakistan.

In addition to that Oil & Gas Exploration sector of Pakistan can be another area of mutual benefits for both the countries, he added.

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