Lahore, April 28, 2014 (PPI-OT): Swedish Ambassador Tomas Rosander has said that two high-level Swedish delegations are visiting Pakistan this year to enhance bilateral trade and economic relations with their counterparts here.
The Ambassador was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari presented address of welcome while Vice President Kashif Anwar, former Senior Vice Presidents Ejaz A Mumtaz, Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, Executive Committee Members Mian Zahid Javaid, Baber Mehmood Chaudhry, Talha Tayyab Butt, Mian Tasharraf Javaid, Mumshad Ali and Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam also spoke on the occasion.
The Ambassador said that the first Swedish delegation is expected by mid May this year with a number of companies marketing major global brands. It will comprise small and medium-sized businessmen who are anxious to expand their business. He said that other delegation was relating to environment. He said that the first delegation, headed by Speaker Swedish Parliament, was visiting Pakistan on the invitation of his counterpart in Pakistan.
He said that security, energy shortage and environmental issues are hampering expansion of trade between Pakistan and Sweden. However, he was appreciative of the initiatives being taken by the present government and expressed the optimism Pakistan would soon become a land of opportunities.
He said that presence of Swedish companies in Pakistan is an indicative of our good bilateral trade relations and their successful operation will help convince other companies to come and invest in this country.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari called for more business-to-business interaction between the two countries and sought Ambassador’s help to this regard.
The LCCI President said, “the days are gone when the Ambassadors were used to look after the diplomatic affairs only. Now they have to take care of economic ties as well, therefore, he added, the role of Swedish Embassy to achieve the desired results was of key importance. “Cooperation for arranging an exhibition or delegation to visit Sweden for exploring business opportunities would greatly help achieve desired results.”
The LCCI President said the volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Sweden was not picking up and the country had always been experiencing trade deficit and increase in imports from Pakistan could create a win-win situation for both the countries.
The LCCI president said that Sweden should consider increasing its imports from Pakistan particularly adding up our agro products as Pakistan’s share quite negligible while Pakistan has vast potential of producing organic and inorganic agro products with best competitive rates in international market.
He asked the Ambassador to tell investors and importers of his country that Pakistan was safe and secure country for direct foreign investment. There is also huge scope for investment in the fields of tourism development, agriculture and dairy development along with technology transfer. He said that our government and business community was endeavouring hard to dispel the negative propaganda against Pakistan.
Engineer Sohail Lashari called for sector specific joint studies in various fields and said that these could help two countries to further enhance their bilateral trade.
Major exports of Pakistan to Sweden include textile products, rice, sports goods, vegetable extracts, carpets, articles of wood etc., but this form very insignificant segment of Sweden’s import from the world.
Pakistan’s major imports from Sweden are paper and paperboard, electronic appliances, vessels for breaking up, newsprint rolls/sheets, electrical equipment, copper foil and pulp of wood etc,
The LCCI president also informed the Ambassador that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has achieved a unique milestone by establishing a Mediation Centre in collaboration with International Finance Corporation (IFC).
“We have well trained experts who can provide mediation services in order to settle any trade dispute out of court. I think this centre will serve as a confidence booster for Swedish business community to positively consider Pakistan for trade expansion.”
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854