OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE - British High Commissioner Adam Thomson has said that efforts are afoot to jack up the volume of Pak-Britain trade to the level of 2.5 billion pounds by the year 2015. Talking to the members of Lahore Economic Journalists Association (LEJA) here, he said that the new British companies especially those of medium and small size, were being persuaded to invest in Pakistan the way big British multinationals like HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays and Unilever had done in the past. We are trying to persuade these companies that Pakistan is not a dangerous place. There are a lot of opportunities for these companies in this part of the world, Adam Thomson said. He said that the United Kingdom was extending support to the institutions like State Bank of Pakistan for capacity building and added that help was also offered to Planning Commission for the development of growth strategy. British High Commissioner said that Pakistani government needed more resources to overcome the problem of circular debt in the energy sector. Pak economy is not growing at the pace it should to cater the needs of the growing population, he said and added, If population continues to grow at the same rate, Pakistan would have to establish four to five Karachis in the coming days, Adam Thomson said. He said that Pakistani economy could come out of woods if it grows at a rate of 7 to 8 percent for at least three decades. Responding to a question, British High Commissioner said that Pakistan and India had to resolve the issue of Kashmir while taking the aspirations of Kashmiris into account. He said that terrorism and violent extremism had taken their toll on the economy of Pakistan, resulting in decline in foreign direct investment. He said that British combat forces would leave Afghanistan in the year 2014. But the British government would continue to support Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner Adam Thomson has assured of quick response to visa applications from Pakistani entrepreneurs to step up efforts of increasing bilateral trade between Pakistan and UK. During his visit to NetSol Technologies, he said the potential of Pakistan IT in bilateral trade is nothing but growth, growth and growth. He said the governments of both Pakistan and UK have decided to double bilateral trade in next four years and purpose of his visit to NetSol Technologies is to change the prevailing mindset of British businessmen towards Pakistan IT industry. Adam Thomson said a constant effort is being made to take three to five working days in processing business visas at British High Commission. We have also the Preferred Partner Scheme where any company can avail a streamlined visa service, he added. The visiting British HC said the single most important agenda of his visit to NetSol is to change the perception about Pakistan. and make concrete efforts to step up business opportunities for British businessmen in Pakistan. He said the British High Commission would promote business conferences on Pakistan in UK, talk about business opportunities in Pakistan and bring British business delegations to Pakistan. To another question, he said the UK regards both Pakistan and India as friendly countries. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman NetSol Technologies Salim Ghauri said he was grateful to the British High Commissioner for visiting NetSol, having a distinction of employing 35 per cent female staff. He said the frequency of exchange of business delegations between Pakistan and UK is low yet, needed to build it up on priority.