Paris willing to cooperate with Islamabad to enhance its exports to European markets: Envoy

Islamabad, July 15, 2012 (PPI-OT): Ambassador of France to Pakistan Philippe Thiebaud has said Paris is willing to cooperate with Islamabad to enhance its exports to the European markets.

He said that France is striving for a Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) plus status for Pakistani products. Moreover, we are helping Pakistan resolve energy crisis by financing dams and introducing energy efficiency practices, he said.

Ambassador Thiebaud said that promoting relations with Pakistan which is one of the largest trade partners of the European Union is the priority of my country.

This he said this while talking to Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Diplomatic Affairs Sheikh Humayun Sayeed. Chairman Media FPCCI Malik Sohail Hussain and Head of Economic Department, French Embassy Dominique Simon were also present on the occasion.

Among EU, France has second largest presence in Pakistan after Germany, 80 French companies have subsidiaries here while 180 companies of two countries are involved in bilateral trade and we have no complaints, the envoy said.

He added that French automakers have shown interest in Pakistani market while many other big companies have recognised Pakistan as a great investment destination.

Thiebaud said that over 600 Master’s and PhD students are currently studying in France while more is being done to facilitate Pakistani students.

While acknowledging the contribution of private sector in boosting relations, he said that social, cultural, political and business exchanges are imperative for the development of ties.

At the occasion, Chairman FPCCI Committee on Diplomatic Affairs Sheikh Humayun Sayeed said that Pakistan has the potential to export quality fruits, rice, fashion garments, leather and sports goods.

French brands have proved their worth in local market while many they have found situation favourable for long-term investment, he said adding that we should have access to French markets.

Sayeed called for enhanced French language programmes in Pakistan which can open opportunities for Pakistan in 34 countries where French is the official language.

Malik Sohail Hussain said bilateral trade was growing by 20 per cent per annum since few years but now the energy crisis has declined it. France should come forward to help overcome energy crisis as she has solid expertise in the coal power generation.

Government should initiate efforts to meet 27 conventions on good governance to qualify for GSP plus which will boost economy and collections and reduce unemployment, said Sohail.

In the end he congratulated the French Ambassador and diplomats on their national day.

For more information, contact:
Syed Masood Alam Rizvi
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332