Pak-UK commercial relations on upward trajectory

LONDON: Pakistan and United Kingdom (UK) commercial relations were on the upward trajectory, the Commercial Counsellor at the Pakistan High Commission London Sajid Mehmood Raja Sunday said.

Talking to reporter he said due to the proactive approach of Pakistan High Commission, a lot of positive development took place during the last one year including the commitment given by the British government that Post Brexit Pakistan would continue to enjoy similar market access which it was currently enjoying under GSP plus regime, appointment of a dedicated trade envoy for Pakistan, series of high profile business related visits to Pakistan which includes visits of Minister for International Trade Greg Hands, Trade envoy Rehman Chishti, Lord Mayor of London Dr Andrew Parmley and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to Pakistan.

He said UK had also communicated its strong support for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and desired to partner in the execution of this important project.

The UK was an important trading partner of Pakistan and it was the 3rd largest destination of the Pakistani exports globally and the top destination within the European Union (EU), he Added.

The commercial counsellor said within EU, it was also the main source of FDI in Pakistan. Pakistan was also one of the largest beneficiary of funding through British DFID programme. Pakistani diaspora in UK contributes around $3 billion in foreign remittances to Pakistani economy. All these facts prove the commercial importance of UK for Pakistan.

He said all these positive developments had led to 8% growth in the country’s (merchandise) exports to the UK market to £1. 2 billion during the calendar year 2016 as compared to previous year.

Similar robust growth had been witnessed during the first ten months of 2017 when Pakistani exports to UK market had increased by 9% as compared to the corresponding period of the last year, he added.

He hoped that due to the proactive role of Pakistan High Commission London, the bilateral commercial relations would further strengthen in the time to come.