London: H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK had a luncheon meeting with a group of British business leaders, City Council representatives, government officials and academics in Bradford on 20 December 2016. The purpose of the meeting was to develop business and economic ties with the British businesses and reach out to public sector organizations of the UK.
In his remarks, the High Commissioner gave an overview of the trade and business friendly regime of Pakistan and informed the attendees about the economic turnaround in the country as a result of the economic reform agenda of the government. The High Commissioner said: “China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), envisages an investment of $54 billion in infrastructure development and energy sector of Pakistan. Out of this portfolio, $35 billion would be spent on power generation which would directly increase our economic growth up to 2%, that currently stands at 4.8%. The British companies and firms have enormous opportunities for investment and consultancy in Pakistan with the advent of CPEC project.”
The High Commissioner said Pakistan hopes to develop even stronger business and trade ties with the UK in the wake of Brexit when Britain would be seeking new markets outside the EU. Given the trade and investment potential and ease of doing business in Pakistan, our country would be a natural destination of foreign investment, added the High Commissioner.
Speaking about the geo economic advantage of Pakistan, the High Commissioner stated: “Pakistan sits at the centre of three billion population of the world with South Asia on one side, West Asia on the other and Central Asia on the third side. With state of the art road and rail network coupled with unique advantage of Gwadar Port, Pakistan is going to provide the most cost effective trade route for the entire region. This would potentially generate enormous trade and economic activity.” He invited the British businesses to take benefit of the trade and economic opportunities available in Pakistan.
The attendees evinced keen interest in doing business with Pakistan and showed confidence in the economic future of Pakistan. They also commended the entrepreneurial acumen of the Pakistani community living in various parts of the UK and said the British Pakistanis were playing an important role in the UK's economy. However, it was pointed out that the British Pakistani businesses further need to develop ties with mainstream businesses and establish linkages with the public sector organizations so that they could be recognized at the national level.
The business leaders also conveyed that there was an urgent need to resume the PIA service from Leeds which would greatly help increase trade and economic relations between Bradford/Leeds and Pakistan. The High Commissioner assured them to take up the matter with the government of Pakistan.
Among others who attended the meeting included Mr S Mark Ridgway OBE, DL, Chief Executive officer, Group Rhodes; David Pearson JP DL MA (York) FRSA, H. M. Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire; Mr Tony Hallwood, Aviation Development Director, Leeds Bradford Airport; Mr Iqbal Bhana, OBE DL; Mr Kevin Sharp, Clerk to the Lieutenancy; Mr Ian Simpson, Head Teacher, Oasis Academy; Mr Alex Ross-Shaw, Deputy Leader of Bradford City Council; and Mr Mohammad Aslam, MBE. Consul General Ahmed Amjad Ali organized the meeting.
Earlier in the day, the High Commissioner visited the MRP, NADRA and Attestation Services at the Bradford Consulate. He expressed satisfaction over the standard of public service delivery at the Consulate but advised the officials to keep striving for raising the standards of facilitation to the community.
December 20, 2016
Last updated: December 21, 2016