islamabad - At a time when the world was bipolar, France maintained an independent position in international affairs and it became even more evident during US-led invasion of Iraq when France and Germany took a different stance. For the last two decades, France has been following a new direction which forces France to keep distance from Pakistan despite having great cooperation in the field of defence, including navy and air forces.

The visit of 20-member French business delegation to Pakistan is a first drop of rain which has become visible. French Ambassador, Martine Dorance hosted a reception in honour of visiting French business delegation at her residence.

Two decades ago, this residence in Islamabad used to be the busiest place for it has held important events and activities. Last night, revival of activities and events has been seen at her residence which was full with a galaxy of guests.

Martine Dorance, made a short speech on this occasion in which she introduced the Medef Business delegation led by Thierry PFLIMLIN, Chairman of the France-Pakistan Business Council of MEDEF International and President of Total Global Services.

In her speech Dorance mentioned that Medef delegation had visited Pakistan after almost 12 years. Since 2005, economic bilateral relationship between the two countries has gained momentum. She thanked Khawaja Asif Minister for water and power and Defence, Sikandar Bosan, Federal Minister for Food security and Dr Mussadiq Malik Advisor to Prime Minister, Senator General Abdul Qayyum, Chairman of the Pakistan France Friendship Group and other distinguished guest.

While introducing the head of French delegation, she said that the delegation has represented 16 companies and offered business opportunities in different sectors such as energy, environmental services, banking and financial services, agribusiness, IT and aviation industry .

The purpose of their visit is to strengthen commercial and industrial partnerships between France and Pakistan, she said. On their three-day visit in Pakistan, French business delegation will explore Pakistan economic priorities and business environment, she further said.

French delegation on very first day met with the President Mamnoon Hussain and various ministers including Sikandar Bosan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Saira Afzal Tarar.

The Medef International was founded in 1989; the French Business Confederation has tremendously promoted French companies economic relations and interests within and abroad.

This organisation in fact is a representative of the French private sector and has gathered about 7000 French companies and 85 Business Councils headed by 55 CEOs of major international French companies. Thierry Pflimlin also delivered a speech in which he said that this visit would be fruitful and help both countries to explore new possibilities in the field of trade and investment.

He briefed about their three day visit to Pakistan and their meeting with ministers, government officials and the team of board of investment. Tomorrow they will visit Karachi where they will meet the private sectors and take their input for the further cooperation in the field of economy and trade, he said.

Senator Nuzhat Amir who is the chairman of the foreign affair committee in senate was introduced as the richest parliamentarian in Pakistan. Thierry Pflimlin acknowledged the fact and also exchanged views with senator Nuzhat Amir. French Ambassador introduced Khawaja Asaif to Thierry. Islamabad chamber of commerce and industry was also represented by the President Khalid Iqbal Malik, Vice President Khalid Malik and the former president Khalid Javed and Zafar Bakhtawari.

The former ambassador of Pakistan to France Ghalib Iqbal was also admired by the French ambassador in her speech and highlighted his role to open the new era of cooperation between the two countries. Ghalib Iqbal was busy with the French business delegation which was the reflection of his close coordination with the visiting business delegation during his stay in Paris.

The visit of French delegation to Pakistan and the recent statement by the US Ambassador Nikkiy Haley in united nation is a turning point in the international affair towards Pakistan Now it is anticipated that Pakistan will start meaningful engagement and new era of understanding, cooperation and trust with US and other major countries of Europe for mutual benefits.