LAHORE: British Deputy High Commissioner Elin Burns has said British investors are reviewing investment opportunities available in various sectors in Pakistan to take further steps in this regard.
Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Burns discussed matters pertaining to mutual trade and economic ties and called for making efforts to increase the two-way trade volume.
She underlined the need for strong business-to-business (B2B) contacts between the two countries and acknowledged that Pakistanis were playing an important role in Britain’s development.
Talking to the envoy, LCCI President Malik Tahir Javed highlighted that the UK had always been a major trading partner of Pakistan as it came at the first place among top export markets in Europe. In terms of imports made by Pakistan from Europe, the UK held the second position.
“Pakistan has been enjoying favourable trade balance with the UK and our exports are almost two and a half times greater than imports from the UK,” Javed said.
He, however, pointed out that though imports from the UK had gone up, Pakistan’s exports slipped a little in 2016. This kept bilateral trade stagnant at $2.18 billion over the past two years.
He saw a great potential for increase in two-way trade to $3-4 billion. “We need to undertake joint activities like roadshows, exhibitions, exchange of trade delegations. We are ready to respond positively to any initiative taken in this connection,” he remarked.
Javed emphasised that the LCCI had always tried to use its influence for the betterment of national economy. The Lahore Chamber was actively engaged with different federal and provincial departments and similarly it had excellent working relationship with international organisations, especially the diplomatic community, he said.
“The UK must come at the forefront of bringing maximum investment to Pakistan. You are quite aware of the issues and challenges, which are as much of concern to us as they are to you and the world community,” the LCCI chief said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2017.
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