LAHORE: After exploring investment avenues in Karachi, Britain is now interested in finding business opportunities in Punjab which has tremendous potential in many areas. In this regard, the British embassy will soon open an office in Lahore to look into investment matters.
“The British government is keen to increase bilateral business with Pakistan through private investments,” said Francis Campbell, Deputy High Commissioner of Britain and Director for UK Trade and Investment.
Speaking at a roundtable organised by the Business Forum Punjab, Campbell said both countries could work together in a host of sectors. “The British government being a world leader in foreign investments continues to help Pakistan. Our aim is to build strong business and political relationships with Pakistan, like other countries,” he said.
“We are also raising voice in Brussels to help Pakistan get access for its products to Europe.”
Britain wants to expand trade between the two countries to 2.5 billion pounds by 2015. “I am here because my country wants me to be here, soon you people will see me, my staff and different delegations in Lahore frequently for investment purposes,” Campbell said.
He made it clear that he could not direct British businesses to invest in Pakistan and could only bring the counterparts together. “We can assist Pakistani businesses to engage with British businesses.”
British retail chain Debenhams is about to start its first outlet in Karachi, where about 50,000 British brands will be available. Right after the opening, Debenhams plans to open its second store in Lahore.
The brand would open four stores in Pakistan, which showed the potential of the market and interest of British businesses in Pakistan, Campbell said and announced that another brand would shortly start operations here. He did not disclose the name.
He said around 22 companies had expressed interest in making joint ventures in Pakistan, for which investors had already visited the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2012.
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It would be very helpful to future business partners / Ventures if there was a web-site listed in your article where prospective Pakistani and British companies could gather information.