LAHORE - Head of Economic Division, Embassy of France, Philippe Fouet has said that businessmen and investors should take full advantage of Pakistan that is a profound blend of best geographical location and trade and investment opportunities. He said that Pakistan offers a vast scope of joint ventures in the fields of pharmaceuticals, energy, food processing, mining, oil and gas exploration. “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would be offering great advantages to the French investors .”

He was talking to LCCI President Abdul Basit here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Philippe Fouet said that France greatly values its relations with Pakistan and strengthening these ties is one of the priorities of France’s economic policy. He said that France and Pakistan has a huge scope to expand relations in various sectors of the economy therefore the private sector in Pakistan should enhance its interaction with French counterparts. He invited Pakistani businessmen to invest in the textile sector of France. He said that an important French Minister will visit Lahore in the start of next year.

LCCI President Abdul Basit said that at present, there are a number of projects being completed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Chinese and Pakistani companies are actively engaged in these projects. It is the best time for French investors to consider Pakistan for investment purposes. He said that Embassy of France can play pivotal role in bringing new investors from France to Pakistan. He said that Pakistan and France enjoy good diplomatic relations and have stable trade and economic ties. Among the top exporting and importing countries for Pakistan in EU after the Brexit, France is ranked at 6th and 3rd places respectively. He said that traditionally, the bilateral trade has been in favour of France except in 2013 and 2014 when Pakistan exports exceeded the imports made from France.

In 2015, the value of Pakistan’s export to France was dollar 361 million in comparison to imports from France which amounted to dollar 417 million. In 2014, the level of bilateral trade went up as high as dollar 828 million but in 2015, it went down to dollar 778 million owing to 16% decrease in our exports to France.

Abdul Basit said that There was decline seen in the exports of rice, bed linens, articles of apparel, medical apparatus and footwear etc. to France. He said that other than these items, Pakistan exports menswear, women’s suits, cotton waste, hosiery items, and carpets etc. to France. Pakistan’s imports from France consist of electrical machinery & appliances, pharmaceutical products, dairy produce, organic chemicals, medical apparatus and unwrought lead etc.