UK eyes £10b bilateral trade potential with Pakistan

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad

Deputy High Commissioner of UK in Karachi and Trade Director for Pakistan, Mike Nithavrianakis has said that his country wanted to increase bilateral trade with Pakistan from existing £3 billion to £ 10 billion to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for both countries. He said that improving bilateral trade and economic relations between the UK and Pakistan would bring progress and prosperity for both countries.
While addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Friday, the Deputy High Commissioner said that about 5000 companies in the UK were doing business in UAE, but only 150 companies were in Pakistan despite the fact that Pakistan was a huge market of over 200 million people. He emphasized that Pakistan should focus on addressing the issues of red tapism and other bottlenecks along with ensuring a predictable and growth-oriented tax regime to attract more investors from the UK and other countries.
Mike Nithavrianakis said that the UK was focusing on 4 areas for close cooperation with Pakistan including healthcare, education, green energy and infrastructure. He said that the UK could also cooperate with Pakistan in agriculture, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and other sectors to make its economy more competitive. He said that the UK would try to provide preferential access to Pakistani products in its market that would further improve its exports.
Talking about export of fruits and vegetables to the UK, the Deputy High Commissioner said that Pakistani exporters should work on meeting the UK standards to get better penetration in its food market. He further said that Pakistani companies should focus on better marketing of their products as insufficient focus in this area was keeping them back from promoting exports up to their real potential. He said that the UK has issued advisories to its citizens to encourage them to visit Pakistan.