Lahore, November 22, 2013 (PPI-OT): French diplomat Eric Noitakis has said that a French solar giant has shown interest in putting up a mega solar power plant in Pakistan. The Head of the Economic section of the France Embassy in Pakistan was talking to the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lahsari here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday. The LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah, former Senior Vice President Abdul Basit and Executive Committee Member Zafar Mahmood also spoke on the occasion.
Eric Noitakis said that he has a commitment with him from a solar company for investment in solar sector in Pakistan and he wanted to share this commitment with the business community of Pakistan because this shows that foreigners are looking at Pakistan positively.
He said that PARCO, a subsidiary of French Donor Agency AFD could fund up to $ 15 million for the private sector projects in Pakistan and it is a great opportunity for the private sector to get funding for their viable projects.
He also urged the LCCI to take lead in bringing an 80 plus strong delegation from the chambers in Punjab to France for enhancing the bilateral trade. In the second half of 2014 a French business delegation would visit Pakistan, if LCCI brings its delegation in the first half of the year.
He said that regional trade is very important therefore, Pakistan and India should promote their bilateral trade as it is the best way to change the mindset of people in both countries. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari assured to take the lead for a business delegation to France. He said that the LCCI wanted to ink MOU on mediation with Paris Chamber of Commerce for resolving the disputes between Pakistan and French businessmen.
He informed the diplomat that we are going to start video conferencing in Lahore Chamber to promote interaction with all other cambers of the world. He said that the Mediation Centre has been established to help private sector companies to resolve disputes quickly and easily since in commercial court cases are often expensive and take a long time. It will avoid full-scale court procedures and dramatically reduce the time and cost of resolving disputes.
The LCCI President said that Pakistan and France are not only steady trading partners but have been substituting great gestures of love, respect and cooperation in other fields of life. He said that considering the size of Pakistan’s consumer market which is over 180 million and the extravagant style of spending by the rich class, French companies should take Pakistan as a potential market for their brands.
He said that four kinds of weather and varied types of terrain widen the range of French products to be marketed in Pakistan. More than half of our population consists of youth who are brand conscious and also inclined to follow the fashion trends. So, I think more and more French brands can be introduced in Pakistan to tap such a huge fraction of society.
He said that catalogue exhibitions, exchanging trade information and organizing franchising exhibitions could play a vital role to enhance the bilateral trade. Pakistan exports comprise of textile clothing and hosiery items, bed and kitchen linens, appliances used in medical sciences, floating docks and light vessels, footwear, carpets, rice, leather goods and etc.
Whereas we import turbo-jets, turbo-propellers and other gas turbines, aircraft parts, electric generating sets, rotary converters, medicament mixtures, colza seeds, natural milk products and etc. Engineer Sohail Lashari said that Pakistan has the potential to export quality fashion garments to France particularly made of finest leather. Likewise we can supply sports goods, organic fresh fruits and vegetables etc.
Other products which can be imported from France are pharmaceuticals, electro-medical apparatus, machinery parts and remelting scrap etc. Tourism is another important area in which both countries can cooperate with each other for its promotion.
He said that that French multinationals could find the favourable environment for long-term investment in Pakistan. The success attained by French brands like Total and LU on the basis of the strength of their products has proved that there is enormous potential of Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan. Apart from that, there are several areas in Pakistan in which French firms can venture independently or in partnership with public and private sectors.
Energy and transport can be most lucrative sectors for French investors amidst other fields like telecommunication, chemicals, automobiles, ship building and defence. To further expand commercial and economic ties, it is necessary that both countries should have access to each other’s markets. This will definitely lead both sides to a more strengthened and stable economic partnership.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854