British High Commissioner in Pakistan Philip Barton has stressed upon the need for making strenuous joint efforts to boost and strengthen mutual trade ties between Pakistan and United Kingdom (UK).

He said that the UK was very much keen to boost trade ties with Pakistan, adding that Pakistan was in good position to enjoy all benefits of GSP Plus Status granted to have easy access to EU markets.

He stated this while addressing an important meeting of Sialkot business community at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here on Monday.

SCCI President Sarfraz Bashir, SVP Mian Muhammad Anwar and VP Khawar Sapal were also present on the occasion.

The British HC discussed in details matters of mutual interest with Sialkot business community, saying that the time was ripe for further strengthening mutual trade ties between Great Britain and Pakistan, as there were bright opportunities of setting up joint industrial ventures in different fields between the two countries. He also discussed the available investment opportunities and exploration of new avenues for investment.

He announced that Deputy British High Commission would soon be opened in Lahore to facilitate the business community of Punjab.

He said that the UK was making all out sincere efforts to ensure easy and direct access of Pakistani business community to British international markets after the GSP Plus, opening up new vistas of business for Pakistan. Philip Barton said that the UK had invited Pakistani businessmen to participate in the international trade exhibitions scheduled to be held in UK.

The British HC said that his government was committed to a long-term, productive and friendly partnership with Pakistan, adding that the UK viewed Pakistan as a long-term strategic partner. The Britain will continue supporting all endeavours aim at enhancing trade relations between the two countries," he pointed out, adding that the UK government was foreseeing better economic and investment outlook in Pakistan and was encouraging its companies to make more investment in Pakistan.

The British HC informed that a good number of UK companies were keen to invest in different sectors in Pakistan. He also agreed with the SCCI proposal regarding regular mutual exchange of trade delegations between Pakistan and UK for enhancing trade ties and volume.

He assured to make efforts to ensure easy access of Sialkot business community to UK and other European markets, enabling the Sialkot exporters to explore and capture new venues for exports.

The British Envoy revealed that several British companies had showed keen interest in joint ventures with Sialkot businessmen in different fields.

Earlier, addressing a meeting of the surgical instruments manufacturers here, British HC Philip Barton assured the surgical instruments manufacturers and exporters to motivate the UK companies to import Sialkot-made surgical instruments direct from Sialkot-Pakistan instead of purchasing these instruments indirectly from the other countries on inflated rates.

During his visit to several leading industrial units in Sialkot city here, the British Envoy witnessed international standard craftsmanship of Sialkot-based artisans. On the occasion, the UK HC said that both the countries had been enjoying good trade relation which would be strengthened further in the future.