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‘Strengthening relations with UK should be priority’


4/13/2018
LAHORE: Strengthening trade and economic relations with the United Kingdom should be the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy as this lucrative destination can help boost national exports to the required level.
 
This was the crux of the speeches delivered at a seminar on “Pak-UK Business Ideas”, organised by the LCCI Standing Committee on Pak-UK business relations, at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
 
LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said that Pakistani businessmen should grow their relations with their British counterparts to avail opportunities. He said that exchange of delegations and participation in each other’s exhibitions are useful tools to know more about each other.
 
The United Kingdom is one of the top five exporting markets in the world for Pakistan, he said, adding it is ranked at 3rd and 16th among top exporting and importing countries, respectively.
 
Former LCCI president Mian Anjum Nisar said Pakistan’s exports to the UK are over $1.5 billion, which makes UK the third largest destination for exports after the US and China. He said more than 100 UK companies are currently working in Pakistan.
 
The country has been seeking to bolster global trade ties following Brexit, (its referendum vote to leave the European Union), with the government seeking to broaden relations with fast-growing economies outside Europe.
 
He said that despite the GSP Plus status, Pakistan has not been able to enhance its exports to the UK as they are stagnant at around $1.5 billion.
 
Waqarullah, trade and investment manager, UK said in order to enhance trade between the two countries there should be an exchange of information so that both sides get updated knowledge. Exchange of delegations should also be linked with events. He also suggested introducing the one-window-operation facility for investors in Pakistan.
 
Talking about the significance of the textile sector, former PRGMEA chairman Sajid Saleem Minhas said the textile industry generates 62% export revenue.