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March 14, 2018

France ready toassist Pakistan in SMEs promotion: envoy

National

March 14, 2018

SIALKOT: French Ambassador Marc Barety on Tuesday said France was one of the biggest supporters of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which had played great role in the country's progress.

Addressing the industrialists and exporters at the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), he said France was ready to assist Pakistan for further promotion of SMEs. He said that France and Pakistan had been enjoying warm and cordial ties since the inception of the latter in 1947 but their bilateral trade ties were not according to their actual potential. He asked for devising methods to promote the trade relations between the two countries. He opined that more business could be induced by repeated exchange of business delegations. Barety told that a delegation of French businessmen would soon visit Pakistan under the Pakistan-France Business Alliance (PFBA). To a question, he stated that Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was important for promotion of trade but it could be reached with the entire members of European Union (EU) and not with France alone. He said the image of Pakistan regarding the security issues was not much better in the EU region, including France but he was trying his level best to improve the soft and positive image of Pakistan. Earlier, SCCI president Zahid Latif Malik proposed frequent bilateral exchange of trade delegations and a smooth procedure of issuance of business and visit visas by the French in order to increase the volume of bilateral trade from the current 1.29 billion euros annually.

SCCI senior vice president Ch Abdul Waheed, vice president Khwaja Abid, general secretary Tariq Mehmood Malik, Mian Khalil, Waqas Akram Awan, Dr Maryam Nauman, Mir Farooq Meyer, Rana Naseer, Sh Tariq Soni, Mian Naeem Javed, M Ibrahim, M Waseem, Ch Ejaz, Zaeem Raza, Ejaz Ghauri and others were also present on the occasion.

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