SIALKOT-Ms Belinda Lewis, British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi, yesterday said that the UK will continue supporting Pakistani businessmen, assuring full cooperation and technical assistance for strengthening bilateral trade relations between the two countries.

Ms Belinda Lewis was addressing a meeting of exporters here at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here on Monday.

Senior trade officials of the British High Commission, SCCI President Majid Raza Bhutta, Dr Mariyam Nouman (Chairperson SCCI's Departmental Committee on Women Entrepreneurs) and Muhammad Ejaz Ghauri (SVC Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association-PSGMEA) also attended the meeting

Ms Belinda Lewis informed that the British investors and businessmen are keen to invest in Pakistan and concrete measures are being taken to develop strong bilateral trade relations with Pakistan.

The British Deputy HC claimed that her country is making sincere efforts to ensure easy access of Pakistani businessmen to international trade markets.

"Pakistani exporters should get full advantages of the GSP Plus status," she pointed out.

To a question raised by a leading exporter Mian Muhammad Anwar, the British Deputy HC said that the UK businessmen need to have a sincere understanding about security concerns in Pakistan with the help of local business partners. The British businessmen should be realistic about security concerns in Pakistan, she emphasised.

She said that the British Business Centre (BBC), already established, could act as catalyst for furthering mutual trade ties between the Pakistani and UK businessmen.

Ms Belinda Lewis also stressed the need for promotion of bilateral trade relations with Pakistan, saying Pakistan possesses great potential which could benefit world at large.

On the occasion, SCCI President Majid Raza Bhutta gave a detailed briefing about the achievements, targets, future goals of the Sialkot exporters and socio-economic and human development made by the Sialkot exporters on self-help basis.

Mr Bhutta said that there is a huge scope for the establishment of joint ventures and business cooperation between Pakistan and UK based companies, especially in the field of Sports Goods, Surgical Instruments, Leather Products and Information Technology.

He stressed the need for strengthen business linkages between Pakistan and UK to enhance bilateral trade.

Earlier, the British Deputy HC showed very keen interest in the Sialkot-made sports goods while witnessing manufacturing and production processes during her visit to a leading industrial unit in Sialkot.

She also witnessed the craftsmanship of the Sialkot-based artisans and termed it an international standard craftsmanship.

She revealed that the Sialkot exporters are much dedicated and enthusiastic.