'Swiss government interested in strengthening trade relations with Pakistan'
The Swiss Ambassador to Pakistan, Christoph Bubb has said the Swiss government is making all out efforts to further strengthen trade relations between Pakistan and Switzerland. The Swiss ambassador was speaking at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Friday. President LCCI, Shahzad Ali Malik, Senior Vice President, Sheikh Mohammad Arshad and Vice President Sohail Azhar also spoke on the occasion.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2011
He was of the view that the Swiss business community was quite impressed and they were ready to make further investments despite the fact that Switzerland was one of the largest foreign investors in Pakistan. He said that there are quite a few sectors wherein there was huge potential for the Swiss businessmen particularly the transfer of technology for the textile sector has a lot of scope.
He said that several Swiss companies were already operating in Pakistan and doing a successful business, which is enough to prove that the Swiss investment has a bright future in this country. The ambassador expressed hope that Swiss investment would see a boost in coming months due to liberal investment policies.
Speaking on the occasion, the President LCCI said that major bottleneck in promotion of trade and economic activities between the two countries is the lack of information about business opportunities available between the two countries. "We need to undertake frequent activities like exchange of business delegations, organising country exhibitions, participation in fairs and exhibitions, seminars and workshops to ensure a continuous liaison. The interaction between the chambers of the two countries can be highly beneficial," he said adding LCCI delegation would visit Switzerland in May this year.
He said Pakistan was blessed with natural resources and skilled cheap manpower but lacked technology. It is a market of over 160 million people. It is gateway to the Central Asian Republics, South Asia and Gulf countries. Population of SAFTA alone stands at 1.4 billion people. The market of these countries including Afghanistan can be effectively and conveniently serviced from Pakistan. Senior Vice President LCCI, Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that Swiss economy was one of the most developed economies in the world. It has highly advanced industries such as machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles and precision instruments.
He invited Swiss businessmen to invest in Pakistan on 100 percent equity basis or in the form of joint ventures with local industries. Such experiences have been very successful in Pakistan. Bayer, Abbot, Searle, Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Massey Ferguson, Fiat and Nestle are all success stories. He said that present government has adopted a liberal investment policy and there was no restriction on sending back the principal, dividends, profits and royalties. He urged the Swiss businessmen to come forward and avail investment opportunities in Pakistan.