British Business Centre launched for trade promotion in Karachi

KARACHI: The launch of the first British Business Centre in Karachi heralds a brighter, more peaceful and prosperous Pakistan as it will work with the UK Trade and Investment to help British and Pakistani companies develop business links and explore opportunities to increase bilateral trade.

Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan stated this at the British High Commission after opening the business centre on Thursday evening.

He said the facility showed the commitment at the highest level in Pakistan and the UK to forging closer bonds between the two countries.

He stressed that at the beginning of 2016, despite the challenges that still remained, Pakistan was a much more peaceful country than it was one or two years ago. The economy had stabilised, which was being recognised internationally and provided a firm foundation for growth, he said.

Khan expressed the optimism that the business centre would contribute to increasing investment and growth in the country.

“We foresee that the constraints on Pakistan’s economic growth – extremism and terrorism as well as energy shortages – will be removed to allow the country to begin growing again and become prosperous.

He pointed out that Pakistan was being reconnected to the world and the business centre was a manifestation of such links. In this regard, he also mentioned the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Pakistan is making attempts to directly reach out to neighbours and other countries situated nearby particularly Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia. These linkages, Khan believes, were improving and would be a driver of growth in Pakistan in the years ahead.

Dastgir said Pakistan was set to see its second constitutional and peaceful transfer of power in 2018, which would spark hope and confidence regarding opportunities for growth and prosperity as well as peace.

British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi John A Tucknott, on the occasion, said the UK and Pakistan were already enjoying a strong relationship and the British Business Centre would help deepen the ties and make progress towards prosperity.

“Its goal is to contribute to an increase in bilateral trade and investment in line with the commitments made by prime ministers David Cameron and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif when they met in London in April 2014,” he said.