France wants more trade, investment; South Korea eyes joint ventures

Maritime Minister Ali Zaidi shares detailed overview of port development with French envoy Marc Baréty
Maritime Minister Ali Zaidi shares detailed overview of port development with French envoy Marc Baréty

Pakistan and France agreed to hold high-level meetings with businessmen and companies for exploring trade and investment opportunities while South Korean companies are interested in joint ventures with local counterparts besides investments in diverse fields.

French Ambassador to Pakistan Marc Baréty and Premier Counselor Yves Manville called on Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi in Islamabad and expressed confidence in Pakistan’s future. They said that France stands with Pakistan in benefiting from huge potential here.

The delegation apprised the minister about the French companies already operating in hydrocarbons and the transport sector. They said that Pakistan has a trade surplus with France whereby textiles, leather products, fruits, and pharmaceuticals are its major exports.

Renowned French shipping and logistics companies, auto companies like Renault and Peugeot and wholesale companies show interest in 200 million people market of Pakistan since the business environment has become more and more conducive during this tenure of the government.

The delegation also appreciated reform initiatives of the government which has helped Pakistan to improve in world business rankings and indices. The federal minister gave a detailed overview of the projects the ministry is working on for the development of ports especially Karachi.

TOURISM IN ISLAMABAD, LAHORE: He said that the government inherited an empty treasury and wretched economy, but timely efforts and right steps have brought visible changes at the macroeconomic level. He appreciated the role of France in establishing zero-emission red line bus service, a part of the Karachi BRT project whereby animal waste is to be used to generate biogas for buses, industrial-grade water and CO2 and fertilizer for agriculture.

The project will be fully operational in 2020. France has labeled Islamabad and Lahore in its tourism category, while Gilgit and Karachi are next in the line, the participants of the meeting agreed on the exchange of experience regarding this sector since France receives 90 million tourists every year.

KOREAN DELEGATION AT ICCI: A delegation of the Multi Motive Creation People of South Korea led by CEO Yoohee Jong and Adviser Kim Je Jong visited the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The delegation told the chamber that they were working to bring leading Korean companies to Pakistan for exploring joint ventures and investment.

Speaking at the occasion Hoohee Jong said that South Korean companies have vast experience of constructing high rise building including hotels and shopping malls. They said that Samsung C&T had built Burj Al Khalifa Tower in Dubai and Petronas Tower in Malaysia and South Korean companies are interested to invest in Pakistan’s construction sector that offered great potential.

BUSINESS COLLABORATIONS: He said that South Korean companies are also interested to explore joint ventures and investment in electric cars, solar energy, healthcare, and other sectors. The delegation held meetings with ICCI to explore business collaborations and assured that they would bring more South Korean companies to Pakistan so that they could play an effective role in Pakistan’s economic development.

Addressing the delegation, Islamabad Chamber President Muhammad Ahmed Waheed briefed the delegation about investment prospects and said that many South Korean companies including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Daewoo Motors, Hyundai Corporation, and Loti Engineering & Construction are doing successful business and urged that more should visit Pakistan to explore joint ventures.

CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL: He said that the construction models in Pakistan used a lot of material and are very costly. He stressed that South Korean companies should bring the latest technology to build smart buildings in Pakistan that should be cost-effective and energy-efficient. He said that the Korean companies should also invest in upgrading power transmission network to reduce the transmission and distribution losses.

Ahmed Waheed said that the government has planned to increase the share of alternative energy from five percent to 35 percent in the total energy mix and urged that South Korean companies pitch in to help Pakistan in converting to alternative sources of energy. He said that the government also wanted to shift cities’ transport to electric vehicles in order to reduce dependence on expensive imported oil.

PAK-TURK AGREEMENT: During a meeting between Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda and Turkish Ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul in Islamabad Pakistan and Turkey agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in diverse fields especially water resources and industrial sector.

The minister said that the two countries are enjoying deep and brotherly ties for long. He said that the government would continue with the policy of further strengthening brotherly relations. He assured the envoy to extend full cooperation for bringing improvement in the field of water resources.

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