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KARACHI: Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), has said that FPCCI’s Pakistan-UK Business Council (PUKBC) has made it possible for Pakistani exporters to access 15,000 Scottish businesses through a landmark trade promotion & facilitation agreement with Scottish Chambers of Commerce. He was speaking at the annual meeting of PUKBC.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh apprised, grounded in research, that the true potential of Pak-UK trade in the near-term of less than three years lies around £6 billion; from the current volume of £3.5 billion; whereas, the export potential is £4 billion from the current £2.1 billion. He apprised that FY22 has seen a growth of 28.3 percent in Pakistan’s bilateral trade with the UK.

The annual meet was attended by the who’s who of the business community active in Pak-UK business, commercial, financial, trade, JVs, investments and economic cooperation. This year various services sectors expressed their interest in enormous potential to export services to the UK.

Imran Khalil, Chairman PUKBC, welcomed businesses to the annual gathering and encouraged them to leverage the partnerships established by PUKBC to increase trade and working partnerships with their UK counterparts. He added that the agreement with the Scottish Chamber will provide access to over 50% of Scottish registered businesses and around 30 regional chambers of commerce of Scotland like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, etc. This will also enable both sides to access each other’s expertise, products and brands, he added.

Arsalan Anwer, who led IT businesses from Pakistan to UK recently, presented the highlights of the recent trade visit to UK; which has helped in achieving expressions of interest and orders for IT services; where Pakistan can help UK businesses reduce their costs through outsourcing of work to Pakistani entrepreneurs and IT companies.

Zohaib Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Software House Association (P@SHA), explained the true strategic potential of one of the world’s major export markets for services; specifically, IT & IT-enabled services. The UK is one of the top importing destinations of IT services in varied verticals, he added.

Ahsan Jabbar, Director PUKBC, thanked the hosts Destination Hotel Manora Beach for their unique initiative which will help bring inward investments into Pakistan in the travel, tourism, hospitality and allied services sectors.

Dr Shehzad Amin of Pakistan UK Business Council also briefed businesses on the Pakistan House Concept being explored through the Consulate of Pakistan in Manchester. This will enable Pakistani products and services to showcase their brands in the Manchester region of the United Kingdom.

Ghufran Abbas, Trade Manager at British High Commission, spoke about opportunities for Pakistani businesses to collaborate with UK businesses; especially, in the education and healthcare sectors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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