SIALKOT – British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson said on Wednesday that adequate efforts were being made to enhance the United Kingdom-Pakistan trade volume to 2.5 billion pounds from 2.1 billion pounds by 2015.

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Addressing the members of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said that Pakistan is safe for foreign investment and future of Pakistan was in the hands of private sector. He added that Sialkot was a developed city and its vibrant business community was playing a key role in improving the image of Pakistan globally.

The British high commissioner said that the UK was making an all-out effort to ensure easy and direct access of Pakistani business community to British international markets, as the UK has invited the Pakistani business community to participate in the international trade exhibitions to be held soon in the UK. He added that these exhibitions would be helpful in promoting their trade relations.

Mr Adam Thomson said that the British government was committed to a long-term and productive partnership with Pakistan and she views Pakistan as a long-term strategic partner. The UK would continue to support all its endeavors aimed at expansion of trade relations between the two countries.

“The UK government was foreseeing better economic and investment outlook in Pakistan and encouraging its companies to make more investment in Pakistan,” he added. He said that a good number of UK companies are keen to invest in Pakistan in different trade sectors. The British government has been motivating their business people to make investments in Pakistan, he revealed. He said that the UK was much interested to engage the Pakistan’s private sector to promote positive image of Pakistan globally.

He said that the UK believed that Pakistan was an ideal country for foreign investment. He said that the Sialkot deserves better trade terms to get British investment in different trade fields and providing maximum opportunities to Sialkot exporters to make their investment in the United Kingdom.

He also pledged to make efforts to ensure easy access of Sialkot business community to UK markets and other European markets, enabling the Sialkot exporters to explore and capture the new UK markets. The British envoy said that several British companies have also shown keen interest to start several joint ventures with Sialkot business community in different trade fields.

Earlier in his welcome address, SCCI President Sheikh Abdul Majid said that Pakistan and the United Kingdom were enjoying highly cordial relations in all fields. He added that the investors of the United Kingdom should be encouraged to avail the opportunities in Pakistan.

“Although the UK was importer of Sialkot made products but with better market access, we expect a high jump in exports to the United Kingdom,” he added. Expressing the hope, he said the visit of the high commissioner would result in promoting better understanding and strengthening of mutual economic relation between business communities of Pakistan and United Kingdom.

Before his meeting at the chamber, the British High Commissioner visited the Sialkot International Airport and highly hailed the export culture and the spirit of self help by the Sialkot exporters. To a question regarding the comeback of British Airways in Pakistan, he said that he would love to see British Airways to start its direct international passenger and cargo flight from Sialkot International Airport to the different foreign destinations.