Lahore, June 29, 2015 (PPI-OT):Embassy of Switzerland and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) would work hand in hand to make the mutual trade and economic ties further stronger. The decision was made during a meeting between the Ambassador of Switzerland Marc P. George and the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday.
LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir, Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi and former Vice President Sikandar M. Khan also spoke on the occasion. Marc P. George and Ijaz A. Mumtaz were of the view that both countries have huge untapped potential and all resources to bring their mutual economic relations to the new height.
The Ambassador said that Switzerland is one of the largest foreign investors in Pakistan and Swiss business community is willing to make further investment in this resource-rich country. He said that several Swiss Companies were already operating in Pakistan and doing a successful business, which is enough to prove that the Swiss investment has a bright future in this country.
He expressed the hope that Swiss investment would see a boost in coming months due to liberal investment policies of the present regime. The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that regular interaction between the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Embassy of Switzerland would provide excellent opportunities for exploring new ways to expand trade and investment opportunities.
He said that the balance of trade has traditionally been in favour of Switzerland. Due to increase in imports from Switzerland over some years and no significant change in Pakistan’s exports to Switzerland, this gap is further widening. “From 2013 to 2014, the imports from Switzerland grew from $ 259 million to $ 320 million whereas in the same period, Pakistan exports recorded a slight change from $ 12.9 million to $ 13.7 million.”
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that these figures are way below to the actual potential of Pakistan. We are much concerned to maintain such a low level of share in two way trade. He said that Switzerland comes at 91st place in top exporting destinations for Pakistan in international market. We need to improve this raking by leaps and bounds.
He said that it is not an easy affair to have greater share of trade in European Union but having been awarded GSP Plus status, there are bright prospects that Pakistan will be able to increase its exports to Switzerland manifold. Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Pakistan exports to Switzerland consist of textiles items, leather goods, electro-medical apparatus, sports goods and carpets, etc. Pakistan’s imports from Switzerland are medicament mixtures, textiles machinery, organic chemicals, technical and medical apparatus, electronic equipment, clock and watches etc.
He said that Swiss economy is considered one of the most developed economies of the world. It has highly advanced industries such as machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles and precision instruments. We will welcome Swiss businessmen to invest in such industries in Pakistan.
The LCCI president invited the Swiss businessmen to visit Pakistan to explore the untapped investment potential. He hoped that Swiss Embassy will play a role to increase private to private contacts between two countries. He said that LCCI is ready to respond to any initiative in this regard. LCCI EC members Talha Tayyab Butt, Muhammad Shahzad, Zaheer Bhutta, Rizwan Shamsi and Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam were also present on the occasion.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan