Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday told French investors not to be swayed by the negative perceptions about Pakistan and invest in the country that offers lucrative incentives in several sectors. He was addressing the MEDEF forum, that was attended by top corporate leaders and heads of major organizations of France on the second day of his visit to France. The MEDEF is a leading network of business confederation of over 700,000 member firms of all sizes.Prime Minister Gilani, who was accompanied by Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs , with additional charge of Ministry of Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, while sharing his vision asked the investors not to be swayed by the exaggerated reports about Pakistan. I therefore invite you all to come to see Pakistan - the real Pakistan, where people pursue their aspirations for success and prosperity with a modern and progressive outlook. The Prime Minister assured the French investors that Pakistan was not in the category of states where investments were insecure and the investors shun these areas to avoid unbearable risks. I am here to assure you, Pakistan does not fall in the category of such states, Prime Minister Gilani said. He said unfortunately images, perceptions are built and then reinforced by rather misleading narratives. If you see Pakistan only through the prism of terrorism and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, then you will never see the real Pakistan. Pakistan is much more than this, and it is there to be seen and experienced, he said. Gilani pointed that over 700 foreign companies, including more than 30 from France were present in Pakistan, besides companies from US, Germany, UK, China, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and several other countries who are doing lucrative business in Pakistan. I have yet to come across a foreign company that has suffered losses in Pakistan. Companies that have entered our market even recently are doing good business and expanding their operations, the Prime Minister added. He said Pakistan was the largest market west of India up to the Atlantic Ocean and was rich in human and natural resources. He pointed that Pakistans geo-strategic location provided unmatched business and export opportunities to foreign investors. He said foreign companies were expanding their activities in energy, petrochemical and chemical industries, infrastructure development, housing, agriculture and agro-based industries, education, health, banking, information and communication technologies. Gilani said Pakistan would like others to explore in hydro, thermal and renewable energies, power transmission networks, oil and gas exploration and pipelines and roads and motorways projects. He mentioned the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India and the Iran- Pakistan-India gas pipeline projects, besides the CASA 1000 that were in the pipeline in the energy sectors. The Prime Minister said Pakistan offers most attractive incentives to foreign investors including 100 percent equity and full repatriation of profits and dividends. Pakistan had bilateral investment protection with 48 countries and avoidance of double taxation with 52 countries. The Prime Minister termed poverty as the root cause of violent extremism. We face common threats, which can only be addressed through cooperative efforts. No country can single handedly address these challenges and threats on its own. He said, the people of Pakistan count on your support. The best way to help is to invest in Pakistan and trade with Pakistan. He said Pakistan can learn a great deal from France and the two countries have grown closer to each other in the past three years. Gilani said involvement of corporate sector was crucial in building a stronger partnership and invited the investors to avail the opportunities that Pakistan offers. Gilani said his prime objective to visit France was to further strengthen economic and commercial relations between the two countries and noted that the establishment of the Pakistan-France Joint Business Council was a step in the right direction. He hoped that the Council would bring the two corporate sectors closer and create win-win scenarios, besides serving as a vehicle to promote mutual confidence, understanding and friendship between the two peoples. Gilani hoped that the Joint Economic and Trade Committees would complement each others work and serve as a close interface for creating synergies and public-private partnerships to open new vistas of economic activity. Gilani said Pakistan no doubt was facing numerous challenges and difficulties that primarily stemmed from the long conflict in Afghanistan and the mismanagement of the non-democratic governments in 64 years of countrys history. He said the people of Pakistan have rendered great sacrifices to win back democracy, besides they have made unparalleled sacrifices in the fight against terrorism not only for their own peace and security but also for the world at large. He said the natural calamities, including the 2005 earthquake added to Pakistans woes. But by generating national resources and with the help of friends like France, the resilient nation has risen to occasion and confronted the challenges head on. The Prime Minister said Pakistan today was going through a rapid transformation towards stability and prosperity and expressed the hope that the country would soon regain its place in the region as hub of economic and commercial activities. President of MEDEF International Jean Burelle, noted that imports from Pakistan have declined from US 350 million dollars to 320 million dollars, while on the other hand the exports have increased and said there was wide scope for growth and enhanced trade. He said Pakistans economy, in terms of purchasing power is equivalent to South Africa, but pointed that it has been impacted by the heavy flooding during the last summers. He said Pakistan was amongst the next 11 countries that have high potential of growth and said leading French companies were willing to invest in Pakistan.