Lahore - Pakistan is well positioned to take off as economic indicators are portraying an encouraging picture. Growth rate is expected to reach 6 to 8 per cent in 2018 therefore businessmen of Norway should come forward and avail the opportunities through joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts.

These views were expressed by the LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder while talking to the Ambassador of Norway Tore Nedrebo here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Monday. Executive Committee Members Mian Zahid Javed and Shahzad Ahmed were also present on the occasion.

The LCCI Senior Vice President said that Pakistan is a huge market and this is high time for the foreign investors to tape huge potential and take full advantage of the investment-friendly policies of the present regime. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is ready to extend maximum cooperation to the businessmen of Norway in this regard.

Almas Hyder said that Norway and Pakistan are well known to each other and their mutual ties range from good diplomatic, cultural and economic relations but these are not being reflected in bilateral trade. The volume of total bilateral trade and imports of Pakistan from Norway are constantly dipping since 2012. He said that total mutual trade volume has come down to $ 69 million in 2014 from $ 78 million in 2012. He said that trade figures of last three years suggest that both countries must jointly make efforts to reverse the declining trend. The LCCI Senior Vice President said that direct interaction between the business communities of two countries can make it possible to cause quantum jump in trade figures.

Pakistan’s exports to Norway include bed linens, articles of apparel & clothing, rice, sports goods and hosiery items etc. Pakistan’s imports from Norway are limited to polymers of ethylene & vinyl chloride and some natural polymers in primary forms. Other items include electrical equipment and scrap of iron & steel etc.

He said that Pakistan is not only interested to improve trade relations with Norway but also want to welcome Norwegian investors to Pakistan. He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has opened up new opportunities of trade and investment in Pakistan. He urged the Ambassador of Norway to play role in projecting Pakistan as a good market for international buyers and investors.

Almas Hyder said that LCCI will take a delegation to Norway soon to explore trade and investment opportunities. On the occasion, issue of establishment of Pak-Norway Business Council also came under discussion.

The Ambassador of Norway Tore Nedrebo said that a number of Norwegian companies are planning to invest here especially in power sector of Pakistan. He asked the LCCI to help identify areas of common interest. He informed the LCCI Senior Vice President that Norway-based company Telenor is providing employment to 4000/5000 people in Pakistan.

He said that there is a need to make more concerted and sector-specific efforts to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries and Norway is ready to take all steps to expand its ties with Pakistan for socio-economic development of the country.

The Ambassador assured his full cooperation to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for strengthening the existing business relations between the two Norway and Pakistan. He also eulogized the LCCI saying that the exchange of trade delegations and trade fairs are the most effective marketing tool in this fast changing global scenario.