LAHORE -  Members of a French Parliamentary delegation on Wednesday vowed that back in France, they would be ambassadors of Pakistan that has huge untapped economic potential and perfect geographical location.

During their visit to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), they said that French government highly values its relations with Pakistan and keen to further strengthening its economic relations with Pakistan that is an important country of the region.

They stressed the need for close contacts between the businessmen through use of modern technology like video conferencing in order to develop lasting linkages and networks for sharing each other's experiences for strengthening of economic relations. They said that they would play their role for increasing bilateral trade between the two countries.

French Parliamentarians highly spoke about Pakistan and said that investment opportunities in Pakistan are of great attraction for foreign businessmen. They said that they would tell their businessmen about the sectors that could create win-win situation.

In his welcome address, LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid appreciated the initiative taken by leadership of France Pakistan Friendship Group for visiting Pakistan to promote trade & investment relations between two countries. He said that France is Western Europe's largest country by area. Including overseas regions, it ranks 41st in the world in size and by economic measurements, France is among the world's most successful countries. Being Europe's third largest economy, its nominal GDP ranked seventh largest in the world at more than US $2.4 trillion in total output, he mentioned.

He added that France is well known around the world for its colours, designs, festivals, fashion, foods and monuments etc. France is rightly considered the birth place of modern democracy. The revolutionary ideals of 1789 i.e. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were impressive and contributed a great deal in attaining ultimate triumph. That victory owes much to the French men and women who have defended freedom and democracy.

"I am sure that you being French Parliamentarians and members of France Pakistan Friendship Group would be noticing certain changes in political scenario of Pakistan particularly taking place in the last decade. Pakistan is all set to gain further political stability in years to come. We hope that we will soon start reaping the fruits of attaining political maturity," he opined.

While sharing trade figures, he said that in 2015, the total volume of bilateral trade was 778 million dollars which surged to 817 million in 2016. The main reason of that increase was consistent rise both in imports and exports to France. He said that from 2015 to 2016, the exports to France registered an increase of 3.3 per cent whereas the imports from France went up by 6.5 per cent and this trend needs to be continued.

In the present scenario of bilateral trade, he said the balance of trade should be in favor of Pakistan and its products should have easy access to the markets of France. "Your support is desperately needed in this connection," he added.

Malik said, "In terms of tourism, Pakistan is a beautiful and historical country and you will be amused by its scenic beauty. We are peace loving nation and desirous of maintaining peace in the whole region." He urged the French Parliamentary delegation to share actual perception about Pakistan.

LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rashid, Vice President Zeshan Khalil, Members of French Parliamentarian delegation Jean Bernard Sempastous, Mrs Annaig Le Meur, Jean-Luc Reitzer, Mrs Sonia Krimi, Alexandre Michel, Mian Ahsan Abbas, Michael Boucault and Philippe FOUET spoke on the occasion, while Ali Hassam Asghar, Awais Seed Piracha, M. Nawaz, Moazzam Rasheed, Kalim Ahmed, Tehmina Saeed Chaudhry and Mian Zahid Javed were also present.