LCCI invites Britishers to invest in CPEC Project

LAHORE: Deputy Director for Trade, British High Commission, Olivia Campbell has said that UK is keen to invest in agriculture, renewable energy, green infrastructure and education sectors of Pakistan.
She was talking to the LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Tuesday. LCCI Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry and former Executive Committee member Rehman Aziz Chan also spoke on the occasion.
Olivia Campbell said that Pakistan is a huge emerging market and British businessmen are ready to grow further trade and economic ties with their Pakistani counterparts.
She said that both countries have long historical relations which should be more meaningful. She said that a number of UK companies are already working in Pakistan which is an ample proof of the fact that UK recognizes Pakistan as a potential market.
LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah invited British investors to invest in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that is a game changer. He said that it is also an opportune time for the investors to invest in Gwadar.
He said that Pakistani business community attaches great value to have good working relations with British High Commission for the sake of exploring ways to further strengthen the bilateral ties.
He said that UK has been one of the major trading partners of Pakistan and the top exporting destinations around the globe. He said that dip in bilateral trade volume in last two years as it has fallen from 2.6 billion dollars in 2018 to 2.4 billion dollars in 2019. In the same period, Pakistan’s exports to UK fell from 869 million dollars to 701 million dollars while the imports contracted from 1.74 billion dollars to 1.68 billion dollars.
The LCCI President said “we are quite optimistic about reversing this falling trend keeping in view the latest development of Brexit. Since UK has always been in favour of giving market access to Pakistan so we expect to have deeper penetration into UK market.”
He said that pharmaceuticals, leather, surgical instruments, renewable energy, retail sector, agriculture, information technology and value-added textiles etc. are some potentials areas in Pakistan for investments and joint ventures between business communities of Pakistan and United Kingdom.
Mian Tariq Misbah said that UK has sizeable imports of textiles, leather, furniture, paper, plastics and footwear from China. UK can increase the imports of these items from Pakistan as our country has great export potential in these areas. Similarly, UK has considerable imports of textiles and pharmaceuticals from India. These are blossoming sectors in Pakistan and the country has great potential to enhance its exports to UK in these areas.
He further stated that Special Economic Zones are being established all across the country under China Pakistan Economic Corridor with all the essential necessities. These are open for foreign investors who will be fully facilitated by the government to set up their industries here or collaborate with local companies in the form of joint ventures.
The LCCI President added that the introduction of Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy and Electric Vehicles Policy by the Ministry of Industries and Production promises to show great results in 2021 and help in enhancing the manufacturing base of our country especially in the field of hi-tech products besides creating employment opportunities. You can play important role in communicating these developments to the UK investors.
He said that the business community of Pakistan faces a lot of hurdles in getting the business visas from United Kingdom. The visas to the business community should be given on priority basis to enhance the trade cooperation between UK and Pakistan.

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