UK-Pakistan Inward Trade Mission will explore possibilities of expanding bilateral trade.

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Leader of UK-Pakistan Inward Trade Mission Dr. Michelle Kristy, while advising the business community of Karachi to take advantage of Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) introduced by UK, said that as DCTS could enable more trade flow between UK and Pakistan, this was a very good time to explore the benefits of exporting to the UK or vice versa. Speaking at a meeting during the visit of the UK-Pakistan Inward Trade Mission to KCCI on Wednesday, Dr. Kristy informed that in addition to various UK-based companies, the inward trade mission also comprises of Presidents and representatives of Chambers of Commerce in the UK who were all here in Karachi to strengthen bilateral trade relations between UK and Pakistan which visits to Lahore and Sialkot will follow.

On the occasion, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh and President Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Nasir Awan also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support each other and undertake initiatives for enhancing trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.

Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala, Vice Chairman BMG Anjum Nisar, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, Senior Vice President Altaf A. Ghaffar, Vice President Tanveer Barry, President Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Nasir Awan, President Greater Birmingham Global Chamber of Commerce Mark Smith, Director Asian Business Chamber of Commerce UK Anjum Khan, President Bradford Chamber of Commerce James Mason and other members of UK-Pakistan Inward Trade Mission along with KCCI’s Former Presidents Khalid Firoz, Majyd Aziz, Junaid Esmail Makda and Managing Committee Members attended the meeting.

Dr. Michelle Kristy, while referring to yesterday’s event held at the British Deputy High Commission in Karachi, said that the International Trade Center’s export handbook was launched at yesterday’s event to guide Pakistani companies on how to export to the UK and also requested KCCI to upload this handbook on KCCI’s website which would be beneficial for many Pakistani businesses as it includes necessary information about the UK market and details of DCTS. She hoped that today’s UK-Pakistan Inward Trade Mission’s visit to KCCI would be a good beginning and that more such efforts in collaboration with the UK government would also be made for the benefit of Pakistani companies.

In his remarks, Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala stated that Pakistan and the UK have been enjoying cordial relations since the inception of Pakistan. Still, unfortunately, UK was not there amongst Pakistan’s four largest trading partners. “With the arrival of today’s UK-Pakistan Inward Trade Mission, I hope that trade and understanding between the two friendly countries will improve further.”

He said that Pakistan has a lot to offer to UK companies as it is a country with all four seasons, mountains, deserts, seashores, fields, natural resources and many other things. “Pakistan is also the fourth largest producer of milk, fifth largest producer of cotton, ninth largest producer of wheat and eleventh largest producer of rice whereas the country also holds 54 million hectors of fertile land along with the largest irrigation canal system”, he added.

Commenting on numerous activities undertaken by the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), he said that Pakistan was inviting investors to invest in the agriculture sector wherein huge fertile land of 26 million hectors was still available which was being provided free of cost by SIFC. “The land acquired by any investor under SIFC’s initiative would remain in his possession as long as he continues to carry on production and only 30 percent of the profit would be shared with the provincial government.”

He was of the opinion that UK and Pakistani diaspora in UK can help Pakistan by importing more and coming into action by undertaking joint ventures in Pakistan particularly in the value addition and technology transfer. “Our problem is that we have failed to add value to our raw materials which is being exported to our otherwise competitors in the world. We need someone who could bring in the technology and investment from UK  for value addition of our products”, he said, adding that Thailand produces around 3000 items from rice alone through value addition and Pakistan was just happy with exporting rice worth US$3 billion, hence, this was an area where Pakistani and UK companies could work together for value addition agriculture, textile and many other sectors.

President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, while warmly welcoming members of UK-Pakistan Trade Mission, said that the relationship between Pakistan and the United Kingdom has always been characterized by a deep sense of friendship and cooperation. “Today, as we stand on the crossover of a new era, it is crucial that we continue to build on this foundation of goodwill and strengthen our economic ties.”

President KCCI said that Pakistan was a country with immense potential, offering a diverse range of opportunities for investors. Karachi, as its economic hub, was home to a multitude of industries, including textiles, pharmaceuticals, software development, and more. “Our business environment is conducive to growth, with a skilled workforce and a supportive government committed to creating a business-friendly ecosystem.”

He also extended heartfelt appreciation to UK-Pakistan Trade Mission and the International Trade Centre (ITC) for organizing Inward Trade Mission, which provided an invaluable opportunity to KCCI members to connect and explore potential partnerships. “Our aim is to facilitate productive one-to-one business meetings and networking sessions, where you can gain deeper insights into the Pakistani market and its specific requirements for exporting to the UK.”

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