UK urges investors to look beyond headlines | Pakistan Today

UK urges investors to look beyond headlines

LAHORE – British Deputy High Commissioner and UK Trade and Investment Director Robert W Gibson has said that the power crisis, corruption and security related problems are the biggest challenges faced by Pakistan, but the UK government encourages its investors to look beyond headlines. Gibson made these remarks while speaking to guests at a farewell dinner, which was arranged at the British High Commission on the successful completion of his three years tenure as UK Trade and Investment Director in Pakistan. The farewell dinner was sponsored by the Uch Power Company and was attended by the Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar, diplomats and leading businessmen. Gibson’s next assignment will be as High Commissioner to Bangladesh.
The outgoing UK Trade and Investment Director underlined that “the UK believes investors should look towards long term opportunities without giving importance to day to day headlines. British companies are will to go in joint ventures and partnerships with their Pakistani counterparts.” He stressed that the shortage of energy was the biggest economic challenge and could only be tackled through the implementation of an effective strategy on the part of the government to bridge this gap between demand and supply.
Speaking on investment opportunities in the case of Pakistan, he said that British companies had invested around £1.0 billion in Pakistan, which showed that UK investors had confidence in the Pakistani economy despite bad headlines. He highlighted that as a part of the UK’s efforts to promote investment in Pakistan, UK Trade and Investment hosted a conference ‘Doing Business in Pakistan’ in London last month. The conference aimed at fostering increased investment opportunities in Pakistan by encouraging UK companies to consider expanding their operations in Pakistan. Over 80 companies from the UK and Pakistan attended the conference, he revealed.
Gibson said there were significant opportunities for partnership between UK and Pakistan firms. He indicated that energy, agriculture, education, health, pharmaceuticals and information technology were among the few attractive areas for investment. He said the Overseas Investors Chambers of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) had also informed him that none of its member had ever lost money by investing in Pakistan, a fact which illustrated the resilience of the Pakistani economy.
Speaking on the occasion, British High Commissioner in Pakistan Adam Thomson said that the UK and Pakistan had a strong relationship. He noted that Pakistan had sustained massive economic losses in last year devastating floods and that the UK had decided to step up its investment and development assistance. He pointed out that though the UK had slashed the provision of its development assistance programmes from 43 countries to 23 countries, Pakistan still retained an important position owing to untapped potential in various sectors.
Highlighting UK investment in different sectors of economy, Thomson said that the UK in partnership with the Punjab government and Nestle had initiated a £15 million development project to improve dairy sector. The UK encourages investment in agriculture sector in order to improve production by enhancing efficiency. A representative from Uch Power also spoke on the occasion and gave a detailed presentation on a power project undertaken by the corporation.

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