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France keen to increase investments, bilateral trade with Pakistan

ISLAMABABD: Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production Senator Lt. Gen retd Abdul Qayyum on Friday said Pakistan appreciates and welcomes French endeavours to increase investments in the country which is a huge market being sixth most populous country of the world.

The senator during a meeting with the French Ambassador Mr Marc Barety also welcomed French decision to participate in forthcoming Asian Parliamentary Assembly’s standing committee on political affairs meeting being held in Gwadar on 29-30 October, 2018.

The French ambassador said that France supports Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) concept and is ready to invest in the subsequent phases of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) provided balance and transparency is ensured.

He said France investments in Pakistan will be enhanced in due course of time. He added that about forty French companies including Engie, Total and Sanofi are doing successful business and France was keen to enhance to bilateral trade which was presently 1.4 billion Euros.

He said that France and Germany were planning joint cultural events in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar which are being held with desired freedom keeping in view the tremendous improvement in the security situation in Pakistan.

France is also opening French language institutes in Peshawar, Faisalabad and Karachi, said the ambassador.

The envoy also showed keenness to invest in the defence sector, but showed concern that three tenders for radars, submarines and mobile bridges were awarded to USA, Turkey and China respectively.  However, the Senator assured him that procedures followed were transparent.

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