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APP
December 3, 2020

UK mission to lobby for more investment in Pakistan: envoy

World

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APP
December 3, 2020

KARACHI: British Deputy High Commissioner Mike Nithavrianakis has said there exists vast trade and investment opportunities in Pakistan, especially in Karachi, and the UK mission here is making every possible effort to further promote economic cooperation between the two countries, including boosting trade and investment.

“My job is to bring more British people to see enormous trade and investment opportunities in Pakistan. Here is peace, security and better business environment,” he said while speaking to an assembly of qualifying Central Superior Services (CSS) candidates on Tuesday evening at the historic Frere Community Hall, which was built in 1865 by then Karachi commissioner Richard Frere.

The event was hosted by Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Ali Shallwani.

The British envoy spoke of the strong economic relationship between the two countries. He said 150 popular British companies like Unilever and GSK pharmaceutical company were successfully operating in Pakistan since long, with most of them located in Karachi.

He said there existed big potential for foreign investment in various sectors of Pakistan mainly in agriculture, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, which could boost the country’s exports.

“But, there is also need for improving the supply-chain, storage and processing facilities,” he said, adding: “There is big demand for Pakistan’s fruits and vegetables as well.”

Nithavrianakis said Pakistan needed to diversify its products and focus on new and non-traditional sectors, along with expansion and modernisation of the existing manufacturing facilities to compete and get good trade share in international market.

“Britain has also helped Pakistan in diversifying its export of goods and job creation. It is a major trade partner of Pakistan. Besides fruits and vegetable, Britain is a big buyer of Pakistan’s textile products.”

He said there was need to further strengthen economic cooperation between Britain and Pakistan. “Pakistanis are a vibrant nation with 70 per cent population under the age of 50 years,” he said, adding: “Around 1.6 million people of Pakistani origin have been contributing in British economy.”

To a question, he said after departure from European Union, Britain would be in a better position to directly discus and engage in trade and investment in Pakistan.

He remarked that he had many evenings and week-ends with Karachiites until Covid-19 outbreak, hoping these interactive sessions would be restored soon.

Earlier to this assignment, Nithavrianakis worked as trade commissioner in Pakistan and had developed strong rapport with Foreign and Commerce ministries to furthering the bilateral trade.

He shared his experiences as diplomat in many countries and urged the qualifying CSS candidates to take responsibility of serving the people in a better manner.

“You would need integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality to really ensure deliverance of superior services to the people of the country,” he added.