Head of the France Regional Economic Department for South Asia and India Jean Marc Fenet addressed the business community at ICCI, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Speaking on the occasion he expressed his country’s wish to improve economic relations and bilateral trade with Pakistan as France considers Pakistan a huge market for business.
He was of the point of view that France policy previously entailed focus on China owing to which South Asia was ignored. However, he said that France is now looking forward to focus on business ties with South Asia and Pakistan being a significant market is fast catching the attention of France.
Speaking on the occasion he said that CPEC is an important factor behind France renewed interest in Pakistan as the corridor has the capability to open new avenues and create opportunities for business and investment. He emphasized that today business is the best way to promote bilateral relations between two countries and Pakistan can benefit from France expertise and latest technology.
Demonstrating his seriousness he said that he is looking forward to visit Pakistan twice a year for the identification of areas of mutual cooperation between Pakistan and France. He also advised ICCI, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to take a delegation to France to explore avenues of mutual collaboration between the two countries.
ICCI President Mr. Khalid Iqbal Malik while addressing the occasion said that both Pakistan and France have the potential to boost co-operation in areas including engineering, automobile, IT, aviation, food processing, agriculture and energy. However, Mr. Khalid Iqbal Malik was quick to state that direct contact between the private sectors of the two countries should be the focus to improve bilateral relations.
He suggested that Pakistani products like military uniform badges, cutlery items, kitchen ware, musical instruments, accessories, uniforms, sportswear, textile items and gloves of all sort along with leather products, surgical instruments and sports good have the potential to find market in France. However, he emphasized that the French Embassy in Pakistan should facilitate Pakistani business community in exporting goods to France. While he informed that around 44 French companies already have business stakes in Pakistan he went on to invite more companies to explore business, investment and joint venture opportunities in Pakistan.
CPEC has truly been a game changer for Pakistan as more and more countries now seem more than eager to invest in and boost their bilateral relationships with Pakistan.