Pak trade delegation to visit France

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on May 31, 2014.

Islamabad – Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif will join a Pakistani trade delegation for an upcoming visit to France, according to a press release issued by the French embassy.

The trade delegation, which will include representatives of around 30 Pakistani companies, has been constituted by the Embassy of France in Islamabad with the close cooperation of the Embassy of Pakistan in Paris.

The delegation’s visit to Paris, France, is planned to begin on June 2 and will end on June 5.

The visit has been made possible with the support of Pakistan Business Council, the Pakistan France Business Alliance and The Pakistan France Business Council, according to the French embassy.

Minister Asif will also be joined by Dr Miftah Ismail, a Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Board of Investment.

On the French side, the visit is being carried out under the supervision of the MEDEF International, also known as the French Business Council, with the cooperation of Ubifrance, the French Trade Promotion Agency.

Asif and Ismail will participate at the presentation on a plenary format that will take place on June 3 at the MEDEF. The minister will also have a meeting with the French Minister for External Trade during the visit, the French embassy stated in its press release.

“The objective of the trade delegation is to provide opportunities to Pakistani entrepreneurs in search of equipment, technologies and expertise and explore possibilities of setting up joint ventures with French companies in the backdrop of the General System of Preferences Plus status recently granted to Pakistan by the European Union,” the press release stated.

The trade delegation includes Pakistani companies working in the energy, infrastructure development, agribusiness and pharmaceutical sectors.

According to the French embassy, business-to-business meetings will be organised at locations including MEDEF’s head office, the Pakistani Embassy, the Ubifrance head office and at the offices of different French companies.

The Pakistani Embassy in Paris will give the business delegation access to its premises on June 3 in the afternoon and June 4 to arrange business meetings on their own and also to the French companies willing to meet with the Pakistani delegates.

“This initiative led by the private sector will trigger new dynamics in Pakistan/France business relationship and will be conducive to more investment and partnerships between companies of our two countries,” the French embassy’s press release stated. “As a reciprocal gesture, a visit of a French business delegation to Pakistan is planned for the second half of this year.”

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