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PR No. 263 Secretary Commerce discusses trade relations with the UK London: September 29, 2016

Azmat Ali Ranjha, Federal Secretary Commerce is on an official visit to the UK,
to assess post Brexit trade opportunities and relations with his British
counterparts. His visit schedule includes senior level interactions with
Department for International Trade and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO),
and meetings with the Parliamentarians, key business leaders and chambers.
On the first day of his visit on 28 September 2016, Secretary Commerce met Lord Marland of Odstock, who is the Chairman of Commonwealth Enterprise and
Investment Council (CWEIC). During the meeting, Secretary Commerce informed him
about the objective of his visit and highlighted the successes which the current
government has achieved through better economic management of the country
especially the impressive economic growth of 4.7% that was achieved in the last
financial year. He further added that the future of China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC), project is anticipated to increase the connectivity across the
region and will give a huge boost to the regional economies & trade.
Chairman CWEIC gave an overview of the Brexit and termed it as a great
opportunity where the Commonwealth countries can benefit from the independent
role which UK may play in the post Brexit period. He added that Pakistan has a
lot of potential which needs to be explored and empathised on working together
to increase trade.

Secretary Commerce also invited Chairman CWEIC to Pakistan.
In the afternoon, Secretary Commerce met H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High
Commissioner to the UK.  In the meeting, ideas were exchanged regarding ways and
means of promoting trade and investment between Pakistan and the UK.
Later, a two member delegation comprising Mr. Wayne Evans, Senior Adviser to The City UK and Ms. Belinda Lewis, British Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan met the Secretary Commerce. The British Deputy High Commissioner said that a lot of
potential exists for the British financial services sector to forge partnership
with Pakistan. She also talked about expertise of Britain in the agro business
sector.
Secretary Commerce said that Pakistan is ready to engage in constructive
dialogue with the UK to develop mutually beneficial trade relationship and
welcomed the inflow of British investment in Pakistan.

On the other hand, Mr. Wayne Evans briefed about the ethos of TheCityUK talked in great detail about the expertise which TheCityUK has to offer, particularly
in the Shariah compliant financial and insurance products. He also highlighted
the expertise which they have in Public Private Partnerships & Privatization.

Secretary Commerce also gave a brief overview of the insurance industry which is an area where lot of potential exists for partnership and investment from the
British Financial Sector. He assured his full support in establishing sound
commercial relations between the two countries.

In the evening, UK Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (UKPCCI), hosted a dinner in honour of Secretary Commerce. The dinner was also attended by
Pakistan’s High Commissioner.

Secretary Commerce assured the UKPCCI of the full support from the Government of Pakistan in facilitating their future programs related to enhancement of trade and investment relations between the two countries. He also touched upon the
turnaround that the Pakistan economy has experienced under the current
government and stated that it is the right time to invest in Pakistan because
the investment climate has improved dramatically and the country has made
considerable progress on multiple fronts that have restored the investors’
confidence.
Speaking on the occasion, the High Commissioner hoped that business community would be more proactive and take advantage of conducive business environment that exists in Pakistan.

The UKPCCI thanked the Secretary Commerce and Pakistan’s High Commissioner for their continued support to the business community.

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