UK PM’s envoy pledges to increase trade ties with Pakistan

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Country open for business, Daniyal tells Rehman Chishti

Muhammad Arshad

Islamabad

British Premier’s Trade Envoy to Pakistan Rehman Chishti, Wednesday, said that Britain was committed to increase the trade and business opportunities between the United Kingdom and Pakistan by scaling up trade relations through cross-sectoral business partnership.
In a meeting with Federal Minister Privatisation Daniyal Aziz here Chishti said Pakistan was a key priority for Britain therefore UK had always supported Pakistan’s entry into the GSP+ and will continue to extend its support for development and trade. The delegation members discussed various transactions and potential for investment and partnership.
Chishti was accompanied by senior business representatives, these included: Elin Burns, British Deputy High Commissioner, Ali Aziz – Senior Manager (Mott McDonalds), Mark Gill – Project Principal (Mott McDonald), Farmida Bi – Partner (Norton Rose Fulbright), Stephen Hart – Senior Executive Officer (Jardine Lloyd Thompson), Michael Dryer – Investment Director Infrastructure (Commonwealth Development Corporation PLC), Saad Ul Islam – Investment Manager, Infrastructure (CDC PLC) and Matt Lister – Deputy Director Trade, British High Commission.
Chishti reaffirmed his commitment to identify possible UK investors for Pakistan and return with more delegations for future collaboration while taking up the business case for Pakistan with the UK Government. Minister Aziz concluded the meeting by highlighting the strong commitment of Pakistan’s leadership to move forward with the privatisation program.
Minister Daniyal Aziz welcomed UK’s interest for investment in Pakistan and appreciated the long-standing bilateral relations between both countries. Pakistan is open for business. He also appreciated the British companies doing business with, and in, Pakistan, terming their active role a huge contribution to Pakistan’s economic development.
Aziz apprised the delegation of Pakistan’s privatisation program and welcomed UK investment in the companies listed for early privatisation. Minister Aziz said that Pakistan is not always viewed as an investor-friendly country due to its security challenges. However, he added that Pakistan is a country which is poised for large economic growth due to its geographical position.
He encouraged UK to look into investing in areas of transport, manufacturing, energy, financial institutions and infrastructure and participate in the open and transparent privatisation transactions. He especially highlighted two public entities, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) as the two biggest bleeding entities in need of revival for profit-making.

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