Pakistan: Energy, security challenges not insurmountable: UK Diplomat

KARACHI: Problems like power shortages and security challenges that Pakistan faces today are not insurmountable. When Pakistan overcomes such problems in near future, its trade with the outer world will flourish, says British Deputy High Commissioner Francis Campbell.

He was speaking to the Pakistani business community and a UK trade delegation at a reception at the British Deputy High Commission on Thursday evening. The reception was hosted by the UK Trade and Investment Department for local businessmen and about 50 British companies that had come to visit the 6th Expo Pakistan.

“Looking at the growth rate of 25 per cent over the last six months in bilateral trade, I am confident that the trade target will not be difficult to achieve. Both countries are making efforts in the right direction which will likely produce results,” Campbell said.

Pakistan and the UK were likely to achieve the bilateral trade target of 2.5 billion pound sterling by 2015 from the present 1.9 billion pounds, he said.

Replying to a question, he said the biggest challenge for Pakistan was to improve its image in Europe. “UK is doing its best to overcome this challenge by inviting its companies to Pakistan. A lot of UK companies have recently invested in Pakistan and the presence of new companies will encourage more companies to invest despite some security challenges.”

Campbell saw huge potential in sectors like agriculture, oil and gas, which were top among other areas.

Companies that come from the UK represent different sectors including information and communications technology, sportswear, hotel and tourism, creative and media, packaging, alternative energy and consultants from the services sector.

Pakistan High Commission Commercial Counsellor in London Saira Najeeb Ahmed, who was also present at the reception, said trade between Pakistan and Britain needed to grow at 20 per cent per annum to catch the target of 2.5 billion pounds by 2015.

“At present, our annual growth rate in trade is 25 per cent and I hope we will achieve the target,” she said.

UK companies wanted to invest in Pakistan because of its 180-million market while Pakistan could also increase exports of food and agriculture products to the UK, she said.

Talking to The Express Tribune on the sidelines of Expo Pakistan on Friday, UK-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Syed Qamar Raza said huge potential existed for increasing bilateral trade as there was immense demand of quality halal food products in the UK which Pakistan could export.

“At present, Pakistan cannot export its poultry and meat products to the UK because of a ban in Europe for the last seven years. We are going to arrange meetings of Pakistani European parliamentarians and our packaged food exporters to end this ban in the next few months so that our quality products can reach the UK and other European countries,” Raza said.

He added that the potential for fruit juice and its products in the UK was enormous and Pakistan produced good quality fruits and juices which could be introduced in European markets.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2011.

Daily Times

By Tanveer Sher

KARACHI: Pakistani Halal Food, which also includes poultry products, has vast export potential in European and other Western countries.

The exports can be enhanced manifold in coming days ahead provided the sector receives official patronage.

The private sector exporters of Hala Food said through adopting modernize techniques and bettering sanitary certification procedures, the Halal Food exports could fetch more than $100 million in next two years.

CEO of K&Ns, Khalil Sattar talking to media representatives at the Pakistan Expo 2011, currently underway in Karachi claimed Pakistani foods were quite capable to cater global demand of Halal Food and in this regard he specially cited European Union and Gulf Cooperative countries (GCC) where increasing demand for Pakistani value added chicken products could help fetch substantial foreign currency to the national exchequer.

He asserted Pakistani poultry farmers were observing an increasing interest for Halal products in North America as well.