ISLAMABAD - British Prime Minister's trade envoy to Pakistan Rehman Chishti visited Pakistan to boost UK-Pakistan trade ties and this was his third visit since his appointment in September 2017, a British High Commission statement said on Sunday.

His visit came just after the UK overtook China to become Pakistan's second largest export market in the world.

To boost this even further, Chishti, member of the Parliament, used his visit to highlight the importance of improving ease of doing business and to ensure stronger and long-lasting trade ties between UK and Pakistan.

Ease of doing business is essential for Pakistan's economic success, and Chishti set out how the UK could help support Pakistan in this ambition. Currently, the British government is supporting World Bank to help the federal, Punjab and Sindh governments in targeting, coordinating and communicating reforms to improve Pakistan's business environment and attractiveness to foreign investors, the statement said.

Chishti also reiterated the UK's commitment to doing more with the new government to create a healthier, more easily-accessible business environment.

During his 4-day visit to Karachi and Islamabad, Chishti held a VIP roundtable with Business and Industry Adviser Razak Dawood, met the chief minister of Sindh, the governor of Sindh, Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, Chairman of Port Qasim Authority, the managing director of Shell, gave a talk at Karachi School of Business Leadership and hosted a reception at Centre Point for Business Leaders. He also took part in a Defence and Security Industry Day onboard HMS X which is also visiting Pakistan, the statement further said.

Chishti said, "I am delighted to be in Pakistan for my 3rd visit as the UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Pakistan, ahead of what will be a very busy few months for UK-Pakistan relations. Many people talk about the joint history of the UK and Pakistan, but I am more excited about the future. There is no other country that has such a unique connection to Pakistan as the UK and, in particular, I can see how important the economic and trading links are between our two countries."

He added, "It will not surprise anyone that the UK is Pakistan's largest export market in Europe, but what many do not know is this year the UK has just overtaken China to become the 2nd largest in the world. UK-Pakistan bilateral trade in 2017 was £2.9 billion; with Pakistan exporting £1.8 billion of goods and services to the UK and the UK exporting £1.1 billion of goods and services to Pakistan.

The UK is also Pakistan's 3rd largest source of foreign direct investment and accounts for 8percent of FDI into Pakistan.

Over 120 British firms are operating and investing in Pakistan.  Major UK businesses succeeding in Pakistan include Mott MacDonald in infrastructure development, which played an integral role in the development of the new Islamabad Airport; consumer goods' company Reckitt Benckiser; Standard Chartered and UBL in banking; pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline; and Shell in oil and gas. There are also UK brands including Debenhams, Toni & Guy, Monsoon and Accessorize in retail.