LAHORE: The French Ambassador, Mrs Martine Dorence, has said that a large business delegation from France will visit Pakistan in beginning of next year to strengthen trade and economic relations between the two countries.
She was talking to the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Monday. LCCI Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghanavi, Executive Committee Members and Head of the Economic Department at the Embassy of France in Pakistan, Eric Noitakis were also present on the occasion.
The French Ambassador said that visit of trade delegation would not only cement economic ties between the two countries but would also pave way for new business ventures.
She said that French large companies have recognized Pakistan’s potential and are interested to make investment here.
She said French multinationals had maintained a visible presence in Pakistan in various sectors like pharmaceutical & chemicals, telecommunication equipment, oil marketing, textiles and food processing. There are several French companies operating in Pakistan.
The Ambassador said not only France but the whole world is interested in having a stable Pakistan. She said France would take every possible step to help Pakistan in coping with all challenges it is facing today.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that France is one of the few countries which has been playing a very active role in building good diplomatic relations with Pakistan.
He said that Pakistan and France have stable trade and economic ties and there have been frequent high-level contacts between the two sides dating back since 1960’s.
LCCI President said that among the top exporting countries for Pakistan, France is ranked at 7thplace. Similarly, France comes at 4th place among the top importing countries for Pakistan .
He expressed the optimism that trade between Pakistan and France would increase un GSP Plus Scheme.
He said that the volume of total bilateral trade between two countries has been ranging well below USD 1 billion, whereas it has far more potential to grow way beyond this.
He said that Pakistan’s exports to France average under USD 400 million and there is also a decreasing trend in imports from France. He said that there was a dire need to make joint efforts to bring positive changes as far as trade is concerned.
Pakistan’s exports to France comprise of bed & kitchen linens, articles of apparel & clothing , menswear, women’s suits , electro-medical apparatus, rice, cotton waste, footwear, hosiery items and carpets etc.
Pakistan’s imports from France are unwrought lead, vessels for breaking up, aircraft parts, vaccines, medicament mixtures, petroleum oils, natural milk products, ferrous waste & scrap and electric appliances etc.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that the best and most effective way is to encourage French investors to positively consider Pakistan. He said that French diplomat could play a pivotal role in bringing new investors here.