Faisalabad dynamism surprises French ambassador
Dorance says Faisalabad suitable city for French investment; decorates UAF VC Dr Iqrar Ahmad with French civil award
From Our Correspondent
FAISALABAD: I am visiting Paris next week to convince French investors for investing in Pakistan as security situation is improving, said French Ambassador Martine Dorance.
Addressing the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Tuesday, she said that it was her first visit to Faisalabad and she was surprised to witness the dynamism of the city. She said that Faisalabad was very suitable city for French collaboration in the fields of textile, agro-industry and agro-products. She said that Pakistan and France had cordial relations in the fields of commerce and education. She said that Pakistan should try to enter the fashion garment industry of France and in this connection, the Pakistani exporters should consider to launch joint ventures with the French businessmen. She said that France had played its role in grant of the GSP Plus status to Pakistan and it was very good opportunity for the country to strengthen its economy by fully utilising it. She said that the Pakistani investors should explore the opportunity of investing in France, which was located in the heart of the EU. Regarding visa issues, the ambassador said that the businessmen should apply for Schangin visa approximately 45 days before the departure.
French Embassy Economic Counsellor and Head of the Economic Department Aric Noitakis asked the Pakistani exporters to start lobbying to hold the fashion garment shows in Paris as a marketing tool of their textile products like India. He also pointed out that Pakistan should be aware of the Chinese investors, who could set up their textile units to export products to the EU under the GSP Plus status.
FCCI president Rizwan Ashraf said that Pakistan was an energy starved country and Chinese investment was focused towards energy related projects. He said that Pakistan was the 5th largest cotton producing country in the world with huge infrastructure of all types of Pakistani textile products.
Meanwhile, French Ambassador Martine Dorance visited the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. She decorated UAF Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan with the French Civil Award - Les Palmes Academiques - in recognition of his tremendous services for education and research on behalf of the French government. She said that the award was originally created by Napoleon in 1808 to honour some eminent members of the University of Paris. It was re-established October 4, 1955 by the then French president Rene Coty under its actual name of Palmes Academiques, the envoy added. In 1866, the scope of the award was widened to include major contributions to French national education and later it was opened to the foreigners, she added.
She said that under the leadership of Dr Iqrar Ahmad, the UAF had emerged in the list of top 100 universities of the globe. She said that the MoU was inked between the AgroCampus Rennes and the UAF to develop scientific exchanges, including the applied research, technology transfer and trainings of students.
UAF Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad said that the French were very good in cheese, artificial insemination and biomass. He said that the Punjab Bioenergy Centre was being established at the UAF and the idea of establishing the institute was taken from France as the country had tremendous expertise in the green energy. He said that the UAF had set up the French language centre to further strengthen the areas of mutual cooperation.