ISLAMABAD, Sep 16: The United Kingdom Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Pakistan and member of British Parliament Rehman Chishti said the British government was supporting reforms to improve Pakistan’s business environment to attract foreign investors.
Chishti’s visit came just after the UK became Pakistan’s second largest export market in the world. He used his visit to highlight the importance of improving the ease of doing business and to ensure stronger and long-lasting trade ties between UK and Pakistan, British High Commission in Pakistan said in a press release on Sunday.
During his four-day visit to Karachi and Islamabad, Chishti held a roundtable with business and industry adviser Razak Dawood, met the chief minister of Sindh, the governor of Sindh, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, chairman of Port Qasim Authority, the managing director of Shell, gave a talk at the Karachi School of Business Leadership and hosted a reception at Centre Point for Business Leaders.
He also took part in a Defence and Security Industry Day onboard HMS X which was also visiting Pakistan.
Chishti also reiterated the UK’s commitment to work closely with the new government to create a healthier, more easily accessible business environment.
UK-Pakistan bilateral trade in 2017 was £2.9 billion; with Pakistan exporting £1.8 billion of goods and services to the UK and the UK exporting £1.1 billion of goods and services to Pakistan.
The UK is also Pakistan’s third largest source of foreign direct investment – and accounts for 8% of foreign direct investment into Pakistan.
Over 120 British firms are operating and investing in Pakistan. Major UK businesses succeeding in Pakistan included Mott MacDonald in infrastructure development, who played an integral role in the development of the new Islamabad Airport; consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser; Standard Chartered and UBL in banking; pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline; and Shell in oil and gas.
There are also UK brands including Debenhams, Toni & Guy, Monsoon & Accessorize in retail.