LAHORE: French companies are keen to invest and engage in business in Pakistan as the region is full of potential, said France-Pakistan Business Council Chairman Thierry Pflimlin.
Pflimlin made the remarks on Tuesday during a visit to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), where he led a 29-member French delegation. Officials of 20 top French companies, dealing in construction, agriculture and agribusiness, banking, oil and gas, urban development, transport, water treatment, energy and IT, were part of the delegation.
The French team expressed deep interest in cooperation and business development and also held fruitful business-to-business (B2B) meetings with their Pakistani counterparts.
The delegation head said the main objective of the visit was to explore business, trade and investment opportunities in Pakistan. “Exchange of delegations is a must to strengthen trade and economic relations,” Pflimlin remarked.
Trade volume between Pakistan, Sri Lanka surges after FTA
LCCI Vice President Faheemur Rehman Saigal, quoting trade figures, said in 2017 the total volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and France was $1,068 million, which fell to $902 million in 2018. The main reason for the decrease was a dip in imports from France.
From 2017 to 2018, the exports to France registered an increase of 12% whereas imports from France went down 32%. “The level of two-way trade should increase while shifting the balance in favour of Pakistan,” he said.
Stressing the need for further expansion in commercial and economic ties between Pakistan and France, Saigal said it was necessary that both countries had access to each other’s markets.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2019.
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