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PR No. 05 Secretary Commerce meets British Parliamentarians to discuss trade promotion between Pakistan and the UK Islamabad

Mr Azmat Ali Ranjha, Federal Secretary Commerce met a delegation of
parliamentarians comprising Baroness Nosheena Mobarik and Amjad Bashir MEP in
London on 29 September 2016 and discussed trade promotion between Pakistan and
the UK.

Mr. Amjad Bashir informed the Secretary Commerce about his program to hold an investors conference in early March 2017 on digital economy where the political
& Business leadership and entrepreneurs from Pakistan, UK and Czech Republic
would come together under one roof to explore the possibilities of new
investment in Pakistan. The conference can be held closer to the date of
Commonwealth Trade Ministers’ Conference.

Secretary commerce informed the delegation about the mini revolution which has ushered in Pakistan in the IT sector. He said: “In the last 24 months, the
number of broadband users has jumped from 3 million to 33 million. It is one of
the fastest growing sectors in Pakistan’s economy. Our software exports have
crossed $ 2.5 Billion. We have rolled out 3G/4G spectrum and lot of important
developments are taking place in this sector.”

Baroness Nosheena Mobarik assured the Secretary commerce of her support to
enhance trade relationship between Commonwealth countries especially Pakistan
and the UK. She showed interest in the development of China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC), which would increase regional connectivity and hoped that
Britain might also benefit from this important project.

Secretary Commerce conveyed the desire of the Government of Pakistan to further enhance trade relation between the two countries. He welcomed UK’s interest to be part of the CPEC. The Secretary invited the British investors to take
advantage of the special economic zones along the Corridor, which will enjoy tax
incentives.
He also met with a delegation of Pakistan Britain Business Council (PBBC) which was led by its new Chairman Mr. Julian Hamilton. Mr Julian said that CPEC has
created a lot of opportunities and Britain also wants to become part of it. He
informed about PBBC program to send a trade delegation to Pakistan in March next
year. He further said that he would try to convince British Airways to resume
their operations in Pakistan once the new Islamabad airport becomes operational.
Secretary Commerce stated that PBBC can play a vital role in boosting the trade
volume between the two countries. He mentioned Pakistan’s economic turnaround as
a result of government economic reforms agenda, which has boosted investors’
confidence in Pakistan. The Secretary further informed that a significant chunk
of $46 Billion which will come through CPEC project will be utilized on the
energy sector whereas $ 10 Billion will be used for increasing the regional
connectivity. These are the exciting times to build partnership and invest in
Pakistan as all the economic indicators are pointing in the positive direction,
added the Secretary. He said a lot of investment is coming from the Middle East
especially in the IT sector.

The PBBC started its journey back in 2003 as Pakistan Britain Trade and
Investment Forum. The remit of this organization is to boost trade and
commercial ties between the two countries.

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