Trade ties with UK of­fer more po­ten­tial

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The ex­ist­ing $1.6 bil­lion trade vol­ume be­tween Pak­istan and United King­dom (UK) has vast po­ten­tial to grow fur­ther in the com­ing years, Robert W Gib­son, Bri­tish Deputy High Com­mis­sioner to Pak­istan said dur­ing a meet­ing with Syed Naveed Qa­mar, Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Pri­vati­sa­tion, Wa­ter & Power.

Pak­istan’s macroe­co­nomic pol­icy is deeply im­pres­sive, pre­sent­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary lib­eral in­vest­ment and at­trac­tive pri­va­ti­za­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties, which needed to be ex­ploited. This was en­dorsed by the en­voy who fur­ther added, “There is a vast scope for Bri­tish busi­nesses and trade groups to ben­e­fit from the at­trac­tive in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered in the fi­nan­cial, health­care, oil and gas and power sec­tors.”

Syed Naveed Qa­mar in­formed the Bri­tish Deputy High Com­mis­sioner that Pak­istan has opened all the sec­tors for in­vest­ment and trade with­out any dis­crim­i­na­tion among lo­cal and for­eign in­vestors, by pro­vid­ing a level play­ing field, im­prov­ing macro eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors through con­sis­tency and con­ti­nu­ity of eco­nomic, in­vest­ment and trade poli­cies and also by mak­ing the tax sys­tem sim­ple.

Pak­istan pro­vides a at­trac­tive Pri­va­ti­za­tion and In­vest­ment pro­gram with re­mark­able in­cen­tives for lo­cal and the for­eign in­vestors. The Pri­vati­sa­tion Com­mis­sion is in­ter­act­ing with the pri­vate sec­tor in var­i­ous coun­tries to cre­ate aware­ness re­gard­ing the pri­va­ti­za­tion and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able in Pak­istan through Pub­lic Pri­vate Part­ner­ship (PPP).

The Min­is­ter fur­ther stated that the gov­ern­ment was en­deav­our­ing to bring back the econ­omy on track and to bring in pro­fes­sional, efficient man­age­ment from the pri­vate sec­tor through Pub­lic Pri­vate Part­ner­ship (PPP) for en­hanc­ing the pro­duc­tion, mak­ing value ad­di­tion to our na­tional as­sets by mak­ing them prof­itable and cre­at­ing more jobs through ex­pan­sions in the Pub­lic Sec­tor En­ti­ties (PSEs). Fur­ther­more, man­age­ment out­sourc­ing would be un­der­taken to en­hance ef­fi­ciency and pro­mote cor­po­rate gov­er­nance while up­com­ing equity linked in­stru­ment (Ex­change­able Bonds) ac­tiv­ity would put Pak­istan on the map of Global Cap­i­tal Mar­kets, he added.

Gib­son as­sured the min­is­ter that Bri­tain would con­tinue to pro­mote in­vest­ment in Pak­istan. Af­ter the floods in 2010, it had pro­posed to grant Pak­istan priv­i­leged trade ac­cess to Euro­pean Union mar­kets to help it re­cover from the flood disas­ter and bol­ster its po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity. The suc­cess­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion of Pak­istan in “Spring Fair In­ter­na­tional” held ev­ery year in the UK is also ev­i­dence that Pak-UK trade ties are grow­ing stronger.

Much de­sired re­sults could be achieved if con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment is pro­vided to the in­vestors. Pak-Bri­tish ties are get­ting stronger but Pak­istan needs se­ri­ous in­vest­ment in sec­tors like en­ergy, tele­com, health and ed­u­ca­tion

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