As investments continue to pour in Pakistan through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the British government has decided to discuss new bilateral trade opportunities with Pakistan. British High Commissioner, Thomas Drew announced that the Trade Minister from the UK will be visiting Pakistan next week to discuss bilateral ties.
Speaking to the members of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Drew said that they had friendly relations with Pakistan and would continue to provide their support to them. The High Commissioner said that a lot of UK companies are already working in Pakistan and more investments are set to follow as CPEC is in full-swing.
Trade volume between UK and Pakistan in 2016 stood at $2.18 billion where exports for Pakistan totaled $1.557 billion and imports $0.61 billion. President of FCCI, Engineer Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, said that the new trade opportunities between the two countries will increase trade volume to $ billion per year.
Saeed said that that they are seeking the help of the British government in order to help small and medium enterprises operating in Faisalabad. He said that improving business environment in the country with the help of UK will increase both domestic and international investments in SMEs. According to Saeed, international investors should take advantage of improved economic and security conditions in Pakistan.
Thomas Drew said that they are also helping Pakistan in different fields like education and vocational training by providing scholarships to Pakistani students who can then get training and study modern subjects in the UK. A lot of Pakistani students head to the UK in order to get quality education and giving scholarships to such students will reduce the financial burden on them.
Drew also talked about Brexit saying that the UK left the European Union but they are not leaving Europe. He said that there are quite a few challenges that they are facing due to Brexit, but they will overcome them soon. UK pound slumped to a 31-year low following the Brexit vote out in 2016.