KARACHI: British Deputy High Commissioner Elin Burns, while highlighting the British government’s commitment, said that when UK leaves European Union (EU), Pakistan’s GSP Plus arrangements will be maintained by UK, if not improved.
“We will unilaterally agree to put those GSP Plus arrangements in place which is going to be a very positive step in terms of strengthening UK-Pakistan trade ties and it shows UK’s strong commitment and desire to expand trade with Pakistan”, she added during her visit to Karachi Chamber on Tuesday while referring to UK’s Senior Trade Minister’s recent visit to Pakistan who also announced UK’s commitment to replicate GSP Plus System arrangements with Pakistan.
Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, Vice Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, Senior Vice President KCCI Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Vice President KCCI Rehan Hanif, Chairman Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Sub-Committee Sohail Amin, Former Presidents KCCI Majyd Aziz & Abdullah Zaki and KCCI Managing Committee members were present at the meeting.
Elin Burns stated that British government was keen to further strengthen trade and investment cooperation with Pakistan. “We have increased our trade teams with presence in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, which is the sign of the importance that we give to strengthening trade relations with Pakistan”, she added.
She said that UK government has also appointed Rehman Chishti, a Pakistani descent, as Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Pakistan who is very enthusiastic to strengthen trade relations between the two countries whereas the British government has also doubled Export Financing from 200 million pounds to 400 million pounds, which is a significant figure, for British companies who are interested in doing business in Pakistan.
“We are doing a lot on our side to encourage UK firms to explore good opportunities in Pakistan and increase their businesses in Pakistan”, she added.
Elin Burns was fairly optimistic that more trade will take place between Pakistan and UK in next months and years.
Referring to concerns expressed over issuance of visas, she said that all these concerns were ‘misconceptions’. “Visa applications for Pakistanis are not decided in India as Visa Center continues to operate from Abu Dhabi”, she said.