President for increasing Pak-UK bilateral trade to $10b per annum

49

 

President Dr Arif Alvi Wednesday underlined the need to take tangible steps to increase bilateral trade between Pakistan and UK, which stood at £3.1 billion in 2021, to US$ 10 billion per year.

This could be achieved in a short span of time by fully utilizing the existing opportunities, exploring new avenues and markets, diversifying products and services, and ensuring economic and political stability in the country, he added.

The President was talking to UK’s outgoing High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dr Christian Turner, who called on him here at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Talking to the outgoing High Commissioner, the President said that enhanced bilateral cooperation to substantially increase trade and investment from the UK in Pakistan would also help in improving the economic conditions of the country, besides creating jobs to reduce unemployment and sustain higher growth rates in coming years.

He said that the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), which would replace the GSP in early 2023, would provide tariff reductions and simpler terms to Pakistan including duty-free exports of over 94% of goods from Pakistan to the UK.

The President appreciated the inclusion of Pakistan in the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) and expressed the desire to fast-track the progress on the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to substantially enhance trade and signing of an agreement between the two sides for the launch of Trade Dialogue in the coming months.

During the meeting, he appreciated that 120 British companies were operating in Pakistan with cumulative investments of around $10 billion and noted that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increased by 22% in the financial year 2020-21 rising from US$117 million to US$143 million.

The President also appreciated that over the last five years up to 2019, Pakistan averaged as the largest recipient of the UK’s bilateral overseas development aid (ODA) in Asia. He stressed the need to create bilateral Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) and Enhanced Strategic Partnership by developing a 10-year roadmap for taking relations forward in diverse fields, including trade, investment and climate change.INP