Britain to set up business support centres in Pakistan

Is willing to cooperate, asks for ideas and projects

Our Correspondent April 11, 2016
British Deputy High Commissioner John Tucknott. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Pakistan is an emerging market and British businessmen recognising its importance are ready to enhance trade and economic ties with their Pakistani counterparts to avail themselves of the opportunities, said British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi John Tucknott.

Visiting the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), he said, “We want to work with you, give us ideas, give us projects; the UK is ready to extend maximum cooperation.”

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He said there had been a positive change in Karachi in terms of law and order situation, adding the number of UK companies working in Pakistan reflected the fact that the former recognised it as a potential market.

“These are the most exciting times for the UK-Pakistan commercial ties to grow as synergies exist in private sectors of the two countries,” said Tucknott.

To further increase bilateral trade and investment, the UK Investment and Trade is planning to establish British business centres in major cities of Pakistan. The centres would provide advice and support to companies that want to grow their businesses overseas.

LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder said Pakistan was a safe country for doing business and invited UK businessmen to accelerate the pace of joint ventures with Pakistan’s businessmen.

Talking about trade, Hyder said the volume was increasing at a healthy pace. “From 2013 to 2014, our bilateral trade went up from $1.98 billion to $2.26 billion, which is due to increase in exports to the UK amounting to $223 million.”

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The LCCI official said after the US, contribution of the UK to the net flow of foreign investment in Pakistan was the highest. “It will enhance investment in Pakistan and help in maintaining international peace, attaining economic stability and ensuring long-term prosperity.

“Considering the dire need of FDI, we look at you for playing some supporting role in bringing investment from the UK,” Hyder added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2016.

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