LAHORE: UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Rehman Chishti said that considering Pakistan as an important emerging market, British businessmen are ready to grow further trade and economic ties with their Pakistani counterparts to avail the available opportunities.
He was talking to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) Acting President Zeshan Khalil and members of the executive committee at the chamber along with UK Diplomats. British Deputy High Commissioner Elin Burns, Deputy Directors, Department of International Trade Matt Lister, Trade & Investment Manager Waqar Ullah, British High Commission Head of Communication Sidra Riaz and Waqar Ahmed Mian also spoke on the occasion.
Rehman Chishti said that all aspects of trade with Pakistan are focused. He said that Pakistan and United Kingdom enjoy strong bilateral relations and share history and deep cultural linkages. He said that this visit will further enhance and strengthen Pakistan-UK relations and up-scale existing co-operation in various fields, particularly in the areas of common interest.
He further stated that security in Pakistan has considerably improved and that engineering, e-commerce and vocational training are fast becoming lucrative sectors for cooperation. “We want to see Pakistan a developed country and want to establish trade relations at all level”, he added,
LCCI Acting President Zeshan Khalil said that exchange of delegations and participation in each other’s exhibitions are a useful tool to know more about each other. Such interactions with the counterparts and other stakeholders allow embarking upon new areas of cooperation.
He said that UK is known for having a strong socio-political atmosphere where the people and the government work hand in hand for the betterment of the country. He said that Pakistan and United Kingdom enjoy good diplomatic and trade relations. Both countries are playing their due roles quite well in strengthening their diplomatic ties that also reflect in our overall trade.
Zeshan Khalil said that UK is one of the top five exporting markets in the world for Pakistan. UK is ranked at 3rd and 16th places among the top exporting and importing countries respectively for Pakistan. It is encouraging to see that balance of trade is in favour of Pakistan and both countries are maintaining overall trade above dollar 2 billion from the last three years.
“Pakistan’s major exports to UK consist of made-up textile articles, cotton, articles of leather, surgical instruments and cereals etc. Pakistan’s major imports from UK are iron and steel, machinery, chemical products, made-up staple fibers, and pharmaceutical products etc. There is a need to work on identifying new products for mutual trade to give a boost to our trade relations with UK. The major products which UK is importing from the world are Pharmaceutical products, Plastics articles, Furniture, Footwear articles, Meat, Edible fruit & vegetables, articles of textiles and Sugars & sugar confectionery etc. Pakistan has potential to export these products and capture its due share in the UK market”, the LCCI Acting President added.
He said that Lahore Chamber of Commerce which is the premier business support organization of Pakistan has been maintaining good working relations with all the departments working in Pakistan under British High Commission.
The heads of British Department for International Development, UK Trade & Investment, British Business Center etc., keep visiting Lahore Chamber to identify new areas of cooperation to promote trade & investment relations between two countries.
Zeshan Khalil said that a large segment of population living in UK belongs to South Asia. For a number of Pakistanis, UK is a second home. UK happens to be homeland to many Pakistanis because they are generally treated there without any discrimination. They find equal opportunities to contribute in that society and are playing excellent roles in all the segments of life. You are one of its good examples.
He hoped that Trade Envoy of UK’s Prime Minister will play an instrumental role in further improving the trade and investment relations between Pakistan and UK.