UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Pakistan MP Rehman Chishti Wednesday said his government was committed to increasing trade and business opportunities between the United Kingdom and Pakistan by scaling up its trade relations through cross-sectoral business partnership.
He expressed these views during a meeting with Minister for Privatization Daniyal Aziz here, a press release said.
The minister welcomed the UK’s interest for investment in Pakistan and appreciated the existing bilateral relations between the two countries.
He also appreciated the British companies doing business in Pakistan, terming their active role a huge contribution to Pakistan’s economic development.
Aziz apprised the delegation of Pakistan’s privatization programme and welcomed the UK investment in the companies listed for early privatization.
Unfortunately, the minister said Pakistan was not always viewed as an investor-friendly country due to certain reasons.
However, he added that Pakistan was a country which was poised for large economic growth due to its geographical position.
He encouraged the UK to look into investment opportunities in areas of transport, manufacturing, energy, financial institutions and infrastructure, and participate in the open and transparent privatization transactions.
He especially highlighted two public entities, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) as the two biggest bleeding entities were in dire need of revival and transformation into profit-earning entities.
Chishti said Pakistan was a key priority for the UK and it always supported Pakistan’s entry into the GSP+ and would continue to extend its support for development and trade.
The delegation members discussed various transactions and potential for investment and partnership.
Chishti reaffirmed his commitment to identify and bring possible UK investment and trade delegation in Pakistan for future collaboration in diverse fields.
The minister concluded the meeting by highlighting the strong commitment of Pakistan’s leadership to move forward with the privatization programme, adding “Pakistan is open for business.”
Chishti was accompanied by senior business representatives including Elin Burns, British Deputy High Commissioner, Ali Aziz – Senior Manager (Mott McDonalds), Mark Gill – Project Principal (Mott McDonald), Farmida Bi – Partner (Norton Rose Fulbright), Stephen Hart – Senior Executive Officer (Jardine Lloyd Thompson), Michael Dryer – Investment Director Infrastructure (Commonwealth Development Corporation PLC), Saad Ul Islam – Investment Manager, Infrastructure (CDC PLC) and Matt Lister – Deputy Director Trade, British High Commission.