Karachi, April 16, 2015 (PPI-OT): Deputy Lieutenant Jonathan Webber MBE, Director of International Trade and Development, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while commenting on concerns expressed over negative perception about Pakistan, underscored the need to exchange more trade delegations between Pakistan and United Kingdom.
“The only way to deal with this issues is to bring people here whereas the Pakistani businessmen and industrialists must equally do the same by visiting the United Kingdom”, Jonathan Webber added while speaking at a luncheon meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The meeting was attended by Vice Chairmen Businessmen Group and Former Presidents KCCI Tahir Khaliq and Zubair Motiwala, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Senior Vice President KCCI Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, Vice President KCCI Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Member General Council of ICC-World Chambers Federation (WCF) Junaid Makda, Former Presidents KCCI Haroon Agar, Majyd Aziz, Khalid Firoz and AQ Khalil, Former SVP Younus M. Bashir and KCCI Managing Committee members.
Jonathan Webber said that relations between the Karachi Chamber and Birmingham Chamber were wider and they both have been working very closely during the past 10 years.
During the said period, around nine delegations from UK comprising 80 to 90 high-profile businessmen and industrialists visited Pakistan whereas four visits of KCCI delegations to UK were also organized with a view to further strengthen trade relations between the two countries, he added.
On the occasion, Jonathan Webber further advised the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to focus on partnering with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which act as the backbone in any economy across the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI, Zubair Motiwala also stressed the need to understand the effective role SMEs can play in the economic development of Pakistan. Economy can only grow if SME sector of a country grows, he opined.
Earlier, while welcoming Jonathan Webber, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra said KCCI was a keen supporter of strengthening economic relations with UK as the chamber remains focused on building strong linkages with Chambers of Commerce around the world including the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
President KCCI pointed out that Pakistan was the most promising land in the region for fresh British investment as many British corporations are successfully operating and expanding their businesses across Pakistan and beyond. The British companies in Pakistan are enjoying profitable business. However, these contributions do not reflect the true existing potential of investment and trade between Pakistan and United Kingdom, he added.
He was of the opinion that Pakistan holds vital geo-political and geo-strategic importance as gateway and trade corridor for Central Asian Countries, Afghanistan, Iran, and important route for trade with SAARC countries, Middle East Countries and China.
“There is a need to maintain close liaison between KCCI and Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry to promote reciprocal trade and investment opportunities”, President KCCI stressed.
Referring to one of the most successful Tripak project undertaken in 2005, President KCCI said that similar projects need to be undertaken again as such projects, besides improving efficiencies, also help in further cementing relation between chambers and business communities, besides prove very fruitful in development of SMEs, poverty alleviation and capacity building of human resource.
Iftikhar Vohra also underscored the need to change the negative perception about Pakistan and asked UK-based companies to invest more in Pakistan, especially in the energy and infrastructure development sectors which offer very lucrative opportunities.
“There is also a need to share and develop common knowledge base and to encourage exchange of trade and business related information and actively facilitate B2B linkages”, he added and hoped to witness flourishing trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and UK in the days to come.
Senior Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, on the occasion, pointed out that the government of Pakistan has taken decisive steps to curb militancy, resulting in seeing less bad news and more goods news but still lot of efforts must be made to ensure long lasting tranquillity and stability across the country.
Vice President KCCI, Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan paid glowing tribute to Jonathan Webber for his extraordinary efforts towards strengthening Pakistan-UK trade ties and sincere struggle to bring the business communities of the two countries closer.
For more information, contact:
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
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