LAHORE: Besides providing financial and technical assistance to Pakistan to overcome its energy crisis, Pakistan-France Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation was established to give a boost to bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries, said French Ambassador to Pakistan Philippe Thiebaud.
While speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday, Thiebaud said that France was striving for GSP-plus (generalised system of preferences) status for Pakistani products, which would give a considerable boost to Pakistan’s exports.
Emphasising on the trade ties between France and Pakistan, the ambassador said that the trade volume for the last year was over $1.3 billion. He added that French car makers have shown interest in Pakistani market. “Big companies of France have recognised Pakistan’s potential and are interested investing here,” he said.
Regarding French cooperation in education sector, Thiebaud stated that over 600 Master’s and PhD students were currently studying in France while more work was being done to facilitate future Pakistani students.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Meher said that Pakistan and France are steady trading partners. Meher said that considering the size of Pakistan’s consumer market, which is over 180 million, French companies should consider Pakistan as a potential market for their brands.
The LCCI Senior Vice President also said that Pakistan has the potential to export quality fashion garments to France particularly leather goods. “Likewise we can supply sports goods, organic fresh fruits and vegetables etc,” he added.
Exemplifying the successful French brands in Pakistan, Meher said that French multinationals would find Pakistan favourable for long-term investment. “The success attained by French brands like Total and LU has proven that there is enormous potential in Pakistan for foreign direct investment,” he said.
To further expand commercial and economic ties, it is necessary that both countries should have access to each other’s markets. “This will definitely strengthen and stabilise economic partnership,” he concluded.