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October 17, 2018

Swiss SMEs keen to enter Pakistani market: envoy

Business

October 17, 2018

LAHORE: Ambassador of Switzerland Thomas Kolly on Tuesday said Swiss SMEs are eager to enter the Pakistani market, as his country is among the top five foreign direct investors of Pakistan in a number of sectors.

He was visiting Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) along with a high level delegation for the renewal of memorandum of understanding between the investment board and Swiss Business Council to increase bilateral trade, encourage investment, augment business linkages, and facilitate people-to-people contacts.

PBIT Chief Executive Officer Jahanzeb Burana and Swiss Business Council President Farhat Ali signed the MoU from their respective sides.

Thomas Kolly thanked PBIT CEO for the warm welcome and told the participants that Nestle, Archroma, ABB Group, Novartis, SIKA AG, Clariant, and Gate Gourmet were amongst the major Swiss investors in Pakistan. He appreciated the initiatives of the government to decentralise many of its operations and the proactive approach in addressing the concerns of foreign investors.

Kolly said Pakistan has a suitable environment for SMEs, which was why Swiss SMEs were eager to enter the Pakistani market. The Ambassador further said that the Representative of Swiss Global Enterprises (SGE) would be visiting Pakistan in December, and would meet with the representatives of sectors like food processing, pharmaceutical and SME.

PBIT Chief Executive Officer Jahanzeb Burana greeted and briefed the delegation about initiatives of the new government what were being followed to uplift the economy of Pakistan. “The development of the social sector such as health and education are of high priority in the new government’s agenda,” he said.

Highlighting the rapid development of special economic zones in Punjab, he informed the delegation that seven new SEZs were going to be announced soon to offer a business friendly environment.

PBIT CEO further appraised the forum that government of Punjab was working on setting up sector specific parks/ industrial zones. “In this context, auto parks are going to be set in Punjab. Moreover, agri food parks are also in pipeline in the food and fruit growing parts of Punjab,” Burana said.

Swiss Business Council’s Pakistan President Farhat Ali emphasised on the great potential of investment available in Pakistan for Swiss SMEs. He further apprised that the Swiss SME sector was worth two to three billion Swiss francs.