KARACHI: Consul General of France Didier Talpain has said that bilateral trade between France and Pakistan remained low in last few decades mainly due to persisting negative perception and misconception about the security situation in Pakistan therefore it was necessary to focus on building the image of the country.l
The misconception about security situation still remains in minds of many French businessmen despite the fact that the situation was much better as compared to what it had been before 2013, he added while exchanging views at a meeting with President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, Senior Vice President Khurram Shahzad and others during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
French CG said that it was their job at the French Embassy and its Consulate to explain it to the French business community that the security situation was much better and they were doing so with a view to promote bilateral trade and encourage investors to explore this important market where some French companies were already doing good businesses.
Stressing the need for enhanced trade relations with Pakistan and expanding cooperation between the two countries, he said that many French companies are keen to come to Pakistan and invest in various fields.
He also inquired about various facilities which will be provided to foreign investors intending to set up their units in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being established in Karachi and Sindh.
Earlier, President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, while highlighting the investment potential of Karachi, stated that with improved law and order situation, Karachi offers a lot to French investors who can surely benefit from the situation by investing or undertaking joint ventures in Karachi.
He said that France and Pakistan share cordial relations based on military, defense, cultural, educational cooperation and economic ties while trade between the two countries has generally been steady.
He pointed out that during 2017, Pakistan exported goods of worth $970.9 million to France as against exports of $859.7 million in 2016, showing an increase of 13%. The goods imported by Pakistan from France were recorded at $607.6 million during 2017 as against imports of $615.7 million in 2016, showing a decline of 1.3%.
He also appreciated France’s support to Pakistan in grant of EU’s GSP Plus status that has helped in further enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries however, the existing trade volume was still too low as compared to the potential.