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February 21, 2020

Commonwealth keen to boost trade ties with Pakistan

Business

February 21, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council on Thursday expressed its interest in promoting trade and investment relationships of Pakistan within the 53-member block, acknowledging the improvement in ease of doing business in the country.

Hugo Swire, deputy chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) said the body has a mandate to facilitate trade and investment through 53 member nations of the Commonwealth.

Swire praised the efforts made by Pakistan to improve its rating on ease of doing business index and acknowledged the macroeconomic stability the country has gradually achieved.

Swire led a delegation of CWEIC during a meeting with the Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Hafeez Shaikh.

Established in July 2014, the council promotes trade and investment among the 53-member countries of Commonwealth – one of the world’s oldest political associations and that was constituted during British era to strengthen relationship among dominion states.

The council hosts the Commonwealth business forum in association with the host country of Commonwealth heads of government meetings every two years. This year the Commonwealth Business Forum 2020 is to be held in Rwanda. “We wish to invite the (Pakistani) PM along with the business delegations to the Forum,” Swire told the meeting.

“As far as the working of the CWEIC is concerned, CWEIC highlights the key opportunities in the member countries and arrange small forums around the world to provide access to new markets,” he said.

The finance adviser informed the delegation that Pakistan is making efforts to improve its business environment for foreign investors.

“It (the country) is in search of finding new markets for its exports and the commonwealth countries can become excellent destinations,” Shaikh said. He specially mentioned the steps taken by the government for simplification of procedures that can reduce the administrative burden on investors, “if they come here with their resources and expertise”.

“In this context, joint efforts can be made to provide opportunities to Pakistan’s local businessmen,” he said. The finance adviser appreciated the idea of creating a “business hub” and forming coalition among various hubs that can benefit all partners.

The adviser assured the delegation for his support in their endeavours for forming business alliances and sharing useful experiences among the business groups for prosperity and development of the member states.