Lahore - A provincial representative of the Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom, Ben French, called on LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Tuesday.

A number of issues regarding Pakistan’s trade with Afghanistan, Pak-UK trade & economic relations came under discussion in the meeting.

Ben said that DFID was a partner of the Punjab government in different socio-economic development programmes. “The British government fully supports the welfare-oriented policies of the provincial government in different sectors,” Ben said.

He said that Department for International Development would continue to extend its cooperation.

Ruth Graham said that the British government was committed to a long-term, productive and friendly partnership with Pakistan. She said that the United Kingdom viewed Pakistan as a long-term strategic partner and would continue to support all its endeavours aimed at expansion of trade relations between the two countries.

She further said that the British businessmen were all praise for the human resource of Pakistan, its intelligence and hard work, which, she noted, were one of the greatest strengths of Pakistan.

LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder said that United Kingdom was one of the important trade partners of Pakistan and played a significant role in the latter’s economic development.

He said that the total volume of two-way trade could easily break the barrier of $2 billion if some further avenues of trade were explored courtesy joint efforts by both the sides.

Hyder said that the UK was known to have expertise in agriculture sciences that provided specific insight into the sub-fields like crop genetics, sustainable pest and disease management, seed and plant sciences, composts & synthetic soils etc. He said that Pakistan had a great potential in mines and minerals development, as important minerals were found in Pakistan, including iron ores, limestone, chromites, silver, gold, gem stones, marble, copper, graphite etc.

He urged the British investors to explore the untapped potential of this sector, which, he expected, would surely result in win-win situation for all.

He said that the UK had gone one step ahead from industrial textiles by mastering in Technical Textiles, which described the growing variety of products and manufacturing techniques for technical properties and performance.

“Being dependent on textile sector, which directly and indirectly involves almost two-third of Pakistan’s resources, transfer of UK’s technology would be of great help,” he said, and added, “Other sectors include Medical Technologies with special focus on Industrial Biotechnology and Science Parks.”