Pakistan may get European GSP Plus by year-end: Danish Ambassador

Lahore, September 16, 2013 (PPI-OT): European Parliament is most likely to grant GSP Plus status to Pakistan in its forthcoming meeting scheduled for December 2013. This was stated by Danish Ambassador to Pakistan Jesper Moller Sorensen while talking to LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday.

LCCI former Vice President Saeeda Nazar was also present on the occasion. Pakistani exports to European Market would get a considerable boost as soon as the country gets GSP Plus status from EU parliament, the Ambassador said.

Appreciating the business opportunities in Pakistan, Jesper Moller Sorensen said that it is a lucrative market with enormous potential, moreover, low labor costs, rising middle class and a huge chunk of the population consisting of youth, made it an attractive destination for investment.

Showing a keen interest in strengthening bilateral trade relations with Pakistan the Ambassador said that “Our goal is to increase Danish exports of goods to Pakistan by 40 per cent over the next three years.”

“Denmark aims to increase trade ties with Pakistan. To better assist Danish companies on the Pakistani market, the Embassy of Denmark in Islamabad will open a commercial section later this year.”

He said that Denmark could provide state-of-the-art technology to Pakistan for Energy conservation, Water Conservation, Water Pumping and Water Purification to help it overcome challenges in these areas. These are the some of the areas, where Danish companies have a strong hold.

He said that the all-out support would be extended to Pakistan if Denmark-specific export strategy is put in place by the government of Pakistan.

The Ambassador, however, stressed the need for a new mechanism to improve Pakistan’s perception that was keeping away all foreign investors in general and Danish businessmen in particular.

About Danish visa policy, the Ambassador clarified, “we have a very liberal visa regime for genuine Pakistani businessmen therefore they need to explore Danish market and have first hand knowledge about available business opportunities there.”

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that Pakistan, despite its challenges, has a great market potential, and Danish businesses have strong grasps in areas such as wind, life science and health, energy efficiency and dairy production. We wish to expand our relations by expanding trade and business.

“Pakistan is a country with a very strong livestock base. Danish dairy is famous worldwide. Transfer of technology in this area will certainly benefit us. Pakistan is the 5th largest milk producing country in the world therefore investment in dairy products will unquestionably yield results.”

The LCCI President said that Pakistan offers a great prospective for foreign investment. It has a strategic location with abundant raw materials. Any investment made in Pakistan will automatically find its way to the regional countries which goes to the extent of Central Asian States.

He said that Pakistan has a huge potential for exporting surgical and sports items as the country specializes in these areas. Cheap agriculture land is abundantly available in Pakistan and enormous size of consumer market will certainly catch the attention of Danish companies interested to expand their businesses in Sub Continent.

Moreover, Pakistan largely produces the finest quality of fresh fruits and vegetable, leather goods, fish, textile products, readymade garments and bed linen etc.

The total Muslim population of Denmark is well over 200,000. Export of Halal Food items from Pakistan to Denmark can cater to the needs of the Pakistani’s and the Muslim community residing there.

Farooq Iftikhar said that energy is the most important issue in Pakistan right now as it is the backbone of every activity. Danish investors have a great opportunity to invest in this sector in Pakistan. The investment can be done in the form of joint ventures with local firms or a sole project by Danish investors.

While inviting the attention of the Ambassador towards strong wind corridors in many parts of the country including Sindh, Northern Areas and South Punjab, the President sought Danish investment and cooperation for energy production through wind.

The LCCI President also stressed the need for exchange of business delegations between the two countries to give boost to two way trade volume.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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