LONDON/Islamabad-The trade volume between Pakistan and the United Kingdom (UK) during the calendar year, January-December 2019, remained £2,043 Million showing an increase of six percent as compared to the corresponding period last year (2018), High Commission sources said.

Trade and Investment Wing of Pakistan High Commission London Head Shafiq A Shahzad told APP that the UK is an important trading partner of Pakistan.

He said that in fact, the UK is also the 3rd largest destination of the Pakistani exports globally and the top destination within (European Union (EU). Shahzad said within EU, UK is also main source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan.

Pakistan, he said, is also one of the largest beneficiaries of funding through British Department for International Development (DFID) programme. “All these facts prove the commercial importance of UK for Pakistan”, he remarked.

Pakistan, he said, was also benefiting from the grant of Generalized Scheme of Preference (GSP) plus status which has helped in picking up our exports revenue in the EU region at a time when exports in other markets were falling.

Highlighting the trade analysis, Safiq Shahzad said trade volume between Pakistan and the United Kingdom during the calendar year remained £ 2,043 million which showed an increase of 6 per cent as compared to the corresponding year of 2018.

He further informed that Pakistan’s exports during the year 2019 have registered a growth of 3.2 per cent which was a healthy sign and the imports from UK have shown a decline of 1.9 per cent, that has improved the balance of Trade by 6 per cent as compared to the last year. Mr.Shahzad added that during the year 2019 the composition of Pakistan’s export basket revealed a lion share of The textile group followed by Food Group. He revealed that in the calendar year January-December 2017, Pakistan exports to UK stood at Pounds £1247 million, January-December 2018 Pounds £ 1270 million and in January-December 2019 it remained at £ 1,311 million.

Similarly, he said that Pakistan’s imports from the UK in the year January-December 2017 registered £ 686 million, in the same period in 2018 stood at £ 746 million while these remained at £ 732 million in the year 2019.

Shahzad said that total trade volume between Pakistan and the United Kingdom in the year January-December 2017 stood at £ 1933 million, and in the year January-December 2018 it was £ 2016 million. While, he said, that the total trade volume between Pakistan and the UK from January to December 2019 remained £ 2043 million.

Shafiq Shahzad further said the balance of trade between Pakistan and UK in January-December 2017 was £ 561 million, while it was £524 million in January -December 2018 and it stood at £ 579 million in January-December 2019.

On the other hand, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar on Monday appreciated the current level of Britain’s engagements in Pakistan and affirmed the resolve to improve the bilateral business and investment relations to new heights.

British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner called upon the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar here said a press release issued by Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives.

Federal minister highlighted the potential for British investors in new areas of economy such as telecommunication, information technology, as well as investment in agriculture, health, higher education and skill development. Both sides affirmed the resolve to further expand the areas of cooperation and increase economic, cultural, and educational cooperation.

He said that the reform process was bearing fruit, as Pakistan’s economy was taking off and inflation was likely to decrease further.

He remarked that Pakistan was on the path to sustainable growth and after the successful implementation of IMF program, Pakistan would overcome its recurring balance of payment problem.

Asad Umer said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered its second phase and its development would be led by the private sector.

He asked the High Commissioner to urge the British investors to fully exploit this opportunity. British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner said that the UK would explore the potential of investments in such areas as clean energy, combating climate change, health, education and tourism sectors in Pakistan.