ISLAMABAD: A high-level delegation of the Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) on Saturday left for United Kingdom (UK) on a five-day tour to promote bilateral trade and enhance close cooperation through private sector engagements.

In a press statement prior to his departure, FIEDMC Chairman Mian Kashif Ashfaq said the purpose of this tour was to seek investment in different FIEDMC projects, especially in the Allama Iqbal Industrial City, which was a prioritised Special Economic Zone under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Pakistani delegation would hold one-on-one interactions with business leaders, researchers and investors in the United Kingdom, he said, adding the 5-day trip would enable the investors to identify potential organisations to partner with and subsequently develop successful economic strategies.

“Since the global economic gravity has shifted towards Asia and Pakistan, CPEC is opening new vistas of business opportunities to the advantage of the people,” he remarked. “Pakistani market is mostly unexplored and has huge potential, thus offers lucrative investment opportunities.”

Mian Kashif noted that the United Kingdom was the third-largest investor in Pakistan after China and the Netherlands and that it accounts for eight per cent of foreign direct investment to Pakistan.

He said due to proactive efforts of the Pakistan High Commission, the British government had given a commitment that post-Brexit, Pakistan would continue to enjoy similar market access which it was currently enjoying under GSP Plus.

This development, he said, had removed the element of uncertainty and further boosted Pakistan’s exports to the UK market.

He pointed out that the EU had not necessarily prevented the UK from doing trade and business. “But now Brexit allows the UK to focus more on countries outside the EU.”

Mian Kashif informed there were only 135 UK-based companies operating in Pakistan as compared to around 5,000 in the UAE, adding that it was high time for Pakistan to attract more UK firms, not only from Britain, but also those operating in the UAE.

“With the potential of Pakistan’s economy, the history of strong economic ties and the UK’s unique understanding of Pakistan, we think that both countries should be making a step-change in their trade relationship,” he concluded.

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