ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif wants to take bilateral trade with United Kingdom to three billion pounds by 2015. However, the current trade volume between the two states stands at 1.9 billion pounds.

While talking to British High Commissioner Philip Barton here on Tuesday, Premier Sharif said that Pakistan intended to expand its relations with the United Kingdom‚ particularly in the field of economy and trade. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan considered the United Kingdom a close friend and a genuine development partner and hoped that current bilateral trade between the two countries which stands at around 2.99 billion dollars will increase manifolds in the coming years. Sharif appreciated UK’s role in galvanising support for inclusion of Pakistan in the GSP plus Scheme. The Prime Minister said the current bilateral trade between the two countries which stands at 1.9 billion pounds (around US$ 2.99 billion) in 2012-13, would increase manifold by next year. He expressed his desire to achieve the target of 3 billion pounds, set by British Prime Minister David Cameron, for bilateral trade by 2015.

Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was following investor-friendly policies and expressed his confidence that the British investment in Pakistan would increase in near future. He stressed the need to work hand in hand to increase the existing foreign direct investment (FDI) as there exists a scope for expansion in the fields of energy, infrastructure development, agriculture and agro-based industry and mining.

The Prime Minister also eulogised the services of Barton’s predecessor Adam Thomson.

The new British High Commissioner expressed confidence that during his tenure, the Pak-Britain relations will get further boost.

Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatemi was also present on the occasion.