KARACHI: The Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan, Frederick Verheyden, has said that security is not the only hindrance to foreign investment in Pakistan.
He said this while talking to The Express Tribune at a dinner reception here on Tuesday. “It is a whole package. Everything is related to each other,” said the new ambassador while commenting on the investment climate in Pakistan.
Verheyden pointed out that foreign investors also looked at basic amenities, the legal framework for investments, suggesting that Pakistan needs to improve the overall investment climate to attract fresh capital.
“The representatives of Belgian companies who are visiting Pakistan have solutions to the economic problems. These companies are from diverse fields especially from manufacturing and services sectors.”
The ambassador visited the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) where he said many Pakistani companies had visited Belgium last month and now the Belgian delegation comprising 12 leading companies arrived in Pakistan, according to a KCCI press release issued on Wednesday.
He said the delegation was looking to explore trade enhancement opportunities in the areas of engineering, information and communication technology, steel, aluminium, healthcare, metallic and wood scrap recycling, logs and timber, dairy products, cargo logistics, potato processing and industrial equipment.
KCCI President Younus Muhammad Bashir said the chamber was keen to strengthen trade ties and look for new trade prospects with Belgium.
Bashir pointed out that the law and order situation in Karachi was improving gradually thanks to the efforts made by the law enforcement agencies. In fiscal year 2014-15, Pakistan exported goods worth $496.01 million to Belgium compared to $471.56 million in the previous year, an increase of 5%. Imports from Belgium amounted to $328.01 million compared to $427.76 million in fiscal year 2014, a decline of 23%.
Although the trade balance was in favour of Pakistan but the volume of around $800 million was very low which needed special attention from both sides, the KCCI president said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2015.
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