KARACHI: Ambassador of Finland Harri Rämäräinen has said that as Pakistan holds huge potential for Finnish companies, the Embassy of Finland plans to bring a Finnish delegation comprising prominent businessmen to Karachi next year whereas the Karachi Chamber can also look into the possibility of sending business delegation to Finland.
“If a delegation intends to visit Finland from Karachi Chamber, we would ensure a good program for them during their visit. We would be very happy to host the delegation from your city in Finland so that you could see our achievements that could also be applicable for your city including the clean technology, energy efficiency and how we change waste into energy”, he added while speaking at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).
Honorary Consul General of Finland in Karachi Sadia Khan, Vice Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Anjum Nisar, Acting President KCCI Khurram Shahzad, Vice President KCCI Asif Sheikh Javaid, Chairman KCCI’s Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Sub-Committee Shamoon Zaki, Former President KCCI AQ Khalil and KCCI Managing Committee Members also attended the meeting.
Finnish Ambassador said, “When we look at the future of Karachi, there might be some areas where Finnish technologies, expertise and know-how could be used therefore, there is need to exchange more business delegations between the two countries.”
Referring to the technologies and solutions being used in Finland to convert waste into energy, he informed that no landfill sites exist in Finland anymore as all the waste that we produce including the hazardous waste from hospitals was now an asset which is converted into energy. “40 percent of our energy comes from renewable energy sources and in the next few years, this energy production would go up to 60 percent”, he said, adding that Pakistan can also learn a lot and benefit from Finnish expertise, experience and solutions in education, energy efficiency, clean & green technology, elevators solutions, sustainable use of forest and natural resources.
He further stated that 50 percent of the ships sailing in all seven seas of the world were equipped with Finnish technology while 11 percent of Finland’s revenue comes from the export of health technology which can also be useful for Pakistan’s health sector.
Finnish Ambassador was of the opinion Pakistan was located very strategically between the East and West and today it connects Asia with Europe more than ever before thanks to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and also to the Roads, Trains, Flights and Maritime connections therefore, Finland was anxiously looking forward to improve trade and investment ties with Pakistan.
He said that Finland, despite being a small country with a population of less than 6 million, was much bigger in terms of inventions, technologies, innovations and solutions. “Whichever country you visit be it China, Africa, London, United States, Canada, Pakistan and others, you will always find something which is either produced, innovated or invented in Finland”, he added.
Vice Chairman BMG & Former President KCCI Anjum Nisar, in his remarks, expressed concerns over nominal trade volume between the two countries and underscored the need for technological collaborations that would certainly result in improving the efficiency and production of industrial units in Pakistan.
He also stressed the need to clarify the negative perception about the security situation in Karachi and rest of Pakistan which discourages many investors to visit the country. “Lots of bustling activities are actually taking place in Karachi, making it an attractive place for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) from Finland in numerous sectors including services, textiles, timber, pulp & paper, chemicals, agriculture and other important sectors of the economy”, he said, adding that Pakistan was also an ideal destination for tourists from Finland.
Acting President KCCI Khurram Shahzad, in his welcome address, stated, “KCCI is keen to strengthen trade ties and explore new bilateral trade prospects with Finland as we believe that Pakistan’s improved relations and enhanced trade with the business and industrial community of Finland would surely help in dealing with the economic crisis and ensure prosperity for both the countries.”
Referring to trade relations between the two countries, he pointed out that the bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Finland are not significant. “In 2017, Pakistan imported commodities of about $70 million while exports to Finland amounted to $65.8 million, indicating a meager trade volume of $135.8 million only which requires serious attention”, he added.
He was of the opinion that Pakistan could enhance its trade in the fields of textile yarn and fabric as Finland is an importer of these textile commodities. Moreover, Pakistan can also partner with Finnish technological think tank for development of technological industry in Pakistan.
“Finland and Pakistan have a huge scope to expand relations in various sectors of the economy therefore the private sector in Pakistan should enhance its interaction with Finnish counterparts”, he stressed, adding that Finland has been using forest resources for business and industry for the last over 500 years and Pakistan could learn a lot for improving its forest industry and promoting green environment.
He further noted that Finland has achieved great progress in energy efficiency and by developing close cooperation with Finland, Pakistan could make efficient use of energy in industrial and other sectors. “Health is another major sector in which Finland has achieved fastest export growth hence, Pakistan could also get good benefits from Finland’s advancement in this particular field”, he added.