April 04, 2014
Two Swedish delegations will visit Pakistan this year to explore its export potential and have direct links with local entrepreneurs, said Tomas Rosander, Ambassador of Sweden in Pakistan. He was addressing the members of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), here on Thursday.
He said that security, energy shortage and environmental issues are hampering expansion of trade between Pakistan and Sweden. However, he was appreciative of the positive thinking of Pakistani people and its government and said that the policies in pipeline would make one day Pakistan as a ‘land of opportunities’.
He said that the first Swedish delegation is expected in May this year with a number of companies marketing major global brands. It will comprise of small and medium size businessmen who are anxious to expand their export business. He said that other delegation will be comprised of small groups relating to environmental issues. He said the delegation on this subject had already visited Pakistan and it would be its second follow-up visit. He said that he has just taken over the charge of Swedish Embassy about four months ago and has already visited Lahore and Karachi while it is hid third visit outside Islamabad and that is to Faisalabad.
He said that GSP Plus status is a trust of European Union in Pakistan’s economy. He said that we want that Pakistani entrepreneurs should fully exploit this facility to strengthen the economy of this country. However, we will also be monitoring the trade under GSP Plus, he added
He said that presence of Swedish companies in Pakistan is an indicative of our good bilateral trade relations and their successful operation will inspire other companies to come and invest in this country. He said the foreign ambassadors stationed at Islamabad should play a major role in improving the perceived perception of Pakistan. Regarding visa issues Tomas said that there are no complaints and the visas are available to the genuine businessmen without any hassle. He also indicated that Sweden was actively considering proposal to appoint Honorary Counsel General in Karachi and it is a good news that he will belong to the textile sector.
Earlier in his address of welcome, Engineer Suhail Bin Rashid President FCCI thanked Swedish support to give GSP-Plus status to Pakistan and said that FCCI has established a dedicated GSP Cell in R&D department to provide required information and guide Pakistani Exporters intending to increase their exports to Sweden. He mentioned the humanitarian aid on behalf of Sweden and said that we also acknowledge the support of your country in extending much needed technical and vocational training to our youth.
Engineer Suhail Bin Rashid further said that FCCI is also concentrating on women empowerment, young entrepreneurship development, Punjab Youth Internship Program and technical education and vocational training skills programs. He also mentioned prevailing energy crisis and said that Sweden could help Pakistan in the field of renewable energy and hydel generation where hundred percent repatriation of profit in foreign exchange is allowed.
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. He requested Swedish ambassador to tell investors and importers of his country that Pakistan was safe and secure country for direct foreign investment.
President FCCI also mentioned the geo-strategic location of Pakistan in south Asia and said that we could help Sweden to expand its trade ties with Central Asian states in addition to having direct access to China, India and Middle East countries. He suggested for sector specific joint studies in various fields and said that these could help two countries to further enhance their bilateral trade.