FAISALABAD: British Trade Minister will visit Pakistan in the next week to discuss bilateral trade and issues relating to the fresh UK investment in Pakistan, said British High Commissioner Thomas Drew.
Addressing the business community at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) on Thursday, he said Pakistan enjoys longstanding friendly relations with UK but they are not truly reflected in their economic affairs.
He further said the UK is extending best possible facilities in the field of education and vocational training which will certainly give a quantum jump to the economic activities in Pakistan.
He also mentioned the dynamic role of British Council and said it is extending lucrative and productive scholarship to train Pakistani students in scientific subjects which will have a salutary impact on the overall economy of this country.
He added that the UK is also cooperating with the Punjab Government in the field of education in order to bring a comprehensive socio-economic change in the province. He remarked that Pakistan is the 6th largest country of the world and Faisalabad is the second largest city of Punjab which is playing its key role in the overall development of Pakistan.
Regarding Brexit, he said that no doubt UK is leaving EU but it is not leaving Europe. He informed the press that many UK based companies are already working in Pakistan while many more are planning to make new investment, particularly in the wake of the CPEC. He assured that the British Government will fully cooperate in bridging the gap between the business communities of the two countries.
Earlier in his welcome Address, President FCCI Engr. Muhammad Saeed Sheikh said Pakistan and United Kingdom have been enjoying good economic and bilateral relations for the last 70 years. The trade between the two countries is progressing but it is still not up to the mark and leaves much to be desired. The trade volume in 2016 was $2.18billion whereas Pakistan’s exports were 1.557billion dollars against the imports from UK was 0.610billion. Thus the balance of trade is in favor of Pakistan.
He said Pakistan’s economy is showing positive macro-economic indicators. “The improved economic and security conditions demand that international investors take benefit of trade and investment opportunities here as Pakistan occupies a strategic position in the region”, he said and added that China Pakistan Economic Corridor is yet another important milestone where UK investors could take benefit.
A short documentary on Faisalabad and FCCI was also screened while Question-Answer was held in which Engr. Rizwan Ashraf, Engr. Suhail Bin Rashid and Muzammal Sultan raised interesting questions.
Later President FCCI Engineer Muhammad Saeeed Sheikh presented an FCCI shield to the British High Commissioner while SVP Rana Sikandar-e-Azam Khan offered a vote of thanks.
Vice-President Engr. Ahmad Hassan, former President Ch. Nawaz, Ayub Sabir, Imran Mehmood Sheikh, Mian Tanveer Ahmad and others also participated in this meeting.