Businesses and delegates from across Birmingham and Pakistan met to discuss bilateral trade opportunities at the third Pakistan-UK business and investment conference.

The annual conference took place at the Hyatt on Broad Street, with 100 delegates in attendance.

The event was organised and hosted by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC).

A number of representatives from the Chambers spoke about the opportunities for trade and strengthening ties between the two Commonwealth nations.

Pakistan climbed 28 places, to 108, on the United Nations Ease of Doing Business ranking in 2018, and its current account, a country’s trade balance, bounced back into surplus after four years in deficit.

This means that the country’s economy is exporting more goods and services than it is importing.

Keith Stokes-Smith, president of the Greater Birmingham Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce, part of the GBCC group, said:  “It is always a pleasure to welcome a fellow Commonwealth nation to our city, and particularly one that is promoting bilateral trade.

“In 2018, the Standard Chartered Bank issued a report which referred to Pakistan as having significant trade potential.

“This is what we like to hear. There are a number of countries that recognise this potential, and we must too.

“Pakistan, like a number of other nations, has an emerging economy which has made impressive gains in infrastructure and industrial growth, as well as experiencing increasing incomes.”

Saboor Malik, president of Rawalpindi Chamber, said: “Pakistan and the United Kingdom are enjoying good, quality relations with each other because of mutual respect, social and cultural ties. There is huge potential of trade and investment between the two countries.

“I would like to thank GBCC for promoting trade ties and business to business opportunities.

“Our motive and aim of this conference is to enhance bilateral trade, present an image of Pakistan and increase interaction with business community in the United Kingdom.

“The economy of Pakistan is improving, the country is emerging as a good investment destination and the business community of Pakistan wants to increase trade ties with United Kingdom, and other Commonwealth countries.“

Steve Allen, vice-president of GBCC, said: “Here at the GBCC, we are committed to helping our members embrace the opportunities which exist for international trade.

“Our International Business Hub draws together all elements of international trade expertise, and places them into a one stop shop for all importers and exporters, from established businesses to those considering trading internationally for the first time.

“Through our International Hub we can provide trade advice, certified export documentation, organise overseas visits, help with language and translation services, and help establish contact between members and overseas chambers, such as the Rawalpindi Chamber.”

Pictured: Representatives from Rawalpindi Chamber and the GBCC


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