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France eyes business opportunities offered under CPEC


ISLAMABAD: France is keen to invest in various economic sectors of Pakistan in order to avail business opportunities in the country in view of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, a foreign delegation said on Tuesday.

“French companies are interested in investing in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, defence, and digital technology sectors,” said Thierry Pflimlin, president of Pakistan France Business Council.
“Everyone wants to benefit from new business opportunities being offered under the CPEC framework.”
Pflimlin, at a meeting with the planning minister Ahsan Iqbal, said economic reforms have increased investment opportunities. 
He was leading a French business delegation visiting Islamabad and Karachi to explore investment opportunities.
Minister Iqbal said French companies should invest in Pakistan’s robust industrial sector and bring in new technologies. 
“It will help add value on different levels of production processes and increase production in general,” he added. “Pakistan has a huge potential to generate quality exports if right and focused investments are made.”
Iqbal said peace and stability efforts helped GDP grow 0.5 percent.
He said the recent political and economic stability has restored the trust of foreign investors, attracting heavy investment from the leading business companies. “The entire world is expressing its interest to reap the CPEC benefits.”
Meanwhile, commerce minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, at a meeting with the delegation, said a ‘Pakistan-France Business Opportunities Conference’ should be organised to ensure business to business interaction and to further boost the bilateral trade.
“Pakistan attaches immense importance to its relations with France,” Khan said. “Pakistani market is mostly unexplored and has huge potential, thus offers lucrative investment opportunities.” 
The minister asked the delegation to invest in the high potential sectors, like e-commerce, information technology, logistics and infrastructure.
Pakistan’s exports to European Union (EU) have been showing an upward trend since the award of generalised scheme of preferences plus status to the country by EU. 
Pakistan’s exports increased to 6.01 billion Euros in 2015 from 4.53 billion Euros in 2013, depicting a growth of 33 percent. 
Pakistan’s export to France rose to 423.9 million Euros in 2015 from 375.9 million Euros in 2013, up 12 percent. —Mehtab Haider
Source: The News