United Kingdom High Commissioner Philip Barton addressing the business community at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) in Faisalabad on Monday emphasized that the local business community need to play dynamic role to augment Pak-UK bilateral trade to 3 billion pounds by end of 2015.
Mr Barton said that more than 100 British companies were already working in Pakistan, adding that he would strive to convince others to come and invest in Pakistan.
He also expressed satisfaction over the increase in Pakistani exports to European Union after the grant of GSP Plus status.
He also mentioned his visit to Chenab Processing, the largest processing units in Pakistan with processing capacity of more than 70 million meters of fabric every year. He said that Chenab group is one of the largest exporters of home textile products from Pakistan who had been honoured by WWF for producing the most organic cotton bales in the world.
Appreciated the dynamism of Faisalabad city, the UK HC said that this city was not only the backbone of Pakistanâ€™s textile production but was also birthplace of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan one of the greatest voices ever recorded. On the occasion, in his welcome address, FCCI President Eng Rizwan Ashraf briefly touched upon the historic importance of Faisalabad and said that FCCI was playing a dynamic role in projecting businesses of this city.
He said that historically Faisalabad (formerly Known as Lyallpur) was developed as a Mandi town for a population of only 40,000 which was now bursting with economic and industrial activities.
The FCCI president said that Pakistan and UK shared longstanding cultural, historic and business ties. Over 100 British companies are currently doing businesses in Pakistan including big players such as Standard Chartered, Barkleys, GSK, Tony & Guys and Uniliver with high return of investments.
Pakistan is ranked by the World Bank in its ease of doing business index higher than Argentina, Brazil and India. Both countries agreed to implement Pakistan-UK Trade Investment Roadmap. The Roadmap in vis-Ã -vis actively pursuing joint activities in Trade and Investment promotion and improving Government to Government and Business to Business Interaction.
In this respect the creation of UK-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce in Pakistan will compliment existing trade bodies in UK and develop business ties with such entities especially along sectoral lines including textile, R&D, energy, pharmaceutical, retail and services etc.
Engineer Rizwan Ashraf acknowledged the role of DFID in the overall development of Pakistan and requested British HC to allocate more funds for Faisalabad specific projects. He said that FCCI also intends to organize a trade delegation for UK in the month of February to attend spring fair to be held in Birmingham. He requested him to facilitate the intending participants of delegation on top priority basis and in turn invited Philip Barton to attend Faisalabad-Expo to be organized by FCCI in the month of March.
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