LONDON: The Pakistan High Commission London organized a business networking reception at its premises on 22 September 2017, where an MoU was signed between the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Pakistan Britain Business Council (PBBC) for enhancing business and trade ties.
The event was attended by CEOs and Directors of leading Pakistani and British companies, with representation from FPCCI, PBBC, London Chamber, Mayor of London office, London Stock Exchange, Standard Chartered, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, UK Department of International Trade (DIT), UBL and HBL.
Newly appointed UK’s Trade Envoy for Pakistan Mr. Rehman Chishti, MP also attended the event.
A high powered delegation of the FPCCI, led by its Vice President Mirza Ishtiaq Baig, is currently visiting various cities of the UK and meeting with local businesses. The Commercial Wing of the High Commission is liaising the business meetings for the visiting delegation.
The delegates were of the view that Pakistan offers huge business opportunities and was open for business. It was also noted that such networking events aimed at forging business to business ties are significant in correcting the perception of the country.
In his welcome remarks, H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK said that Pakistan is a natural destination for the UK business companies, and add that this interest is also reflected in a stream of high level visits of the UK leadership to Pakistan. He also emphasized that there were tremendous economic opportunities for UK businesses in Pakistan after Brexit and in the wake of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The High Commissioner said that Pakistan is moving forward and projections about Pakistan economy by the independent financial institutions is a testimony of country’s upward economic trajectory. He also welcomed the sighing of MoU between FPCCI & PBBC and hoped that it would open new vistas of cooperation and relationship between two organizations.
Mirza Ishtiaq Baig, Vice President FPCCI, expressed his desire to work closely with Pakistan High Commission London. He offered the services of FPCCI in forging ties between businesses of the two countries.
Mr. Rehman Chishti MP, in his address, mentioned that UK has a unique relationship with Pakistan. The business and trade ties add very important dimension to our relationships, added the MP. He termed Pakistan a key trading partner and said that implementation on CPEC projects would bring the business communities of the two countries even closer.
Julian Hamilton Barns, Chairman Pakistan British Council, said that Pakistan is open for business and such collaboration as manifested in signing of MoU would further augment cooperation between the businesses of two countries. He said that Pakistan is facing issues of perception which could be corrected through business to business and people to people contacts.
Mr. Imran Khalili, Chairman Pak UK Business Council of FPCCI also shared his perspective on profitable business opportunities in Pakistan.
A number of important sectors of economy were represented at the networking event, including textile, energy, chemicals, financial services, real estate, entertainment, tourism and surgical equipment.