More B2B contacts to establish between two countries for FDIs, says Swiss envoy

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A webinar was held with Swiss Charge d’Affairs, Mr. Alberto Groff, with the members of Board of Governors of Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR).

 

After the initial introductions and welcomes the Swiss envoy said that Switzerland is a regular center for visits by high-ranking business officials from Pakistan; especially so, it is expressed through the World Economic Forum (WEF) held every year at DAVOS, where Pakistan is represented officially by the government delegation and also through Pathfinder group.

 

In WEF meetings, senior government members from all over the world and Pakistan visit DAVOS. Pathfinder group organize hospitality and meetings during WEF at DAVOS. He continued that Pakistan and Switzerland regularly carryout bilateral political consultation every year alternating between Pakistan and Switzerland.

He added that Switzerland is known for its financial and strong business connections and that many Swiss companies are actively involved in businesses in Pakistan.

Furthermore, Switzerland covers a large portion of Pakistan’s Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), this includes a number of agreements that have been signed between Switzerland and Pakistan facilitating this relationship.

 

This includes investment protection agreement, avoidance of government double taxation agreement and exchange of information of financial matters agreement

 

The envoy added that Pakistan has a lot of potential for investments and that one of the main issues holding it back was their concerns of security in Pakistan in terms of legal property rights and general security to conduct business in Pakistan. 

 

And that Pakistan can specifically further collaborate in businesses and science diplomacy which have already been conducted successfully elsewhere and we would like to continue in this respect through all forums including KCFR.

 

Replying to a question he said that Switzerland was a great touristic attraction with its tourism industry having developed over centuries and he would like to further enhance his embassy’s website with touristic attractions. He said that Switzerland maintains a remarkable level of higher studies and provides excellent scholarships on merit basis to some of the Pakistani students in Swiss institutions.

 

KCFR’s Patron in Chief Mr. Ikram Sehgal highly appreciated the Swiss Government for assisting and facilitating Pakistan at WEF of which, Pathfinder group of Pakistan was one of the founding members that holds functions inviting investments to Pakistan.

The same, he said shall be repeated this year and he thanked Mr. Alberto Groff for his continued excellent support in this respect.

 

Replying to another question the Swiss envoy said that though Switzerland was a small country but would like to provide Pakistan with Eco-friendly goods to Pakistan. It always encourages green energy projects and would like to collaborate in such projects with Pakistan also.

Replying to another question the Swiss envoy said that Switzerland is a keen international trade and has trade agreements with over 40 countries and would be pleased to sign similar trade agreements with Pakistan also.

The meeting concluded with Chairman Vice Admiral Khalid M. Mir (Retd) thanking the envoy for his participation and congratulated him for Switzerland being elected as non-permanent member of UN Security Council. He also praised the efforts of the envoy in facilitating the expansion of trade and FDI through the potential that Pakistan offers.

He mentioned the efforts of Switzerland in protection of Human Rights, world over especially with Geneva being host to UN Human Rights Council. He drew attention to the atrocities being committed by India against minorities in India and Kashmir in total contravention of UN declaration of Human Rights and International Bill of Human Rights.

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