France keen to enhance financial assistance in Hydro and renewable energy sectors

France keen to enhance financial assistance in Hydro and renewable energy sectors

Rawalpindi: (Business Reporter) The Ambassador of France to Pakistan Dr Marc Baréty paid a visit to the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) here on Wednesday.

Addressing traders, the envoy said that his country desired to enhance trade with Pakistan in different sectors including renewable energy, hydropower, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, energy, water and education. He said France is keen to develop strong business contacts with Pakistan, and also focusing on the promotion of the small and medium enterprises in the country.

The French ambassador informed that his government already made sizeable financial assistance particularly in the water and hydropower sector and mentioned about the assistance being extended by the French govt with regard to facilitating the development in Pakistan.

He shared that the current portfolio of financial assistance amounted to €800-900 million which becomes €100-150 million per annum, adding that the French government was considering increasing the assistance to €500 million per annum depending upon the requirements.

Dr Marc Baréty said that the bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and France stood at around 1.4 billion Euros and He called for product diversification saying that most of the trade between the two countries is in textile sector. He said that EU’s GSP Plus facility to Pakistan has enabled it to enhance 60% exports to European Union countries. He said regulations are being simplified to make business in France easy. He said a tax scheme has also given to reduce the number of taxes.

The envoy informed that an important delegation of renowned French universities will visit Pakistan in April 2019 as part of our resolve to increase our contributions towards higher education in Pakistan.

He lauded RCCI’s efforts in promoting trade and investment activities in the region through exhibitions and business opportunity conferences.

Earlier, President RCCI Malik Shahid Saleem in his welcome address said that Pakistan economy is an emerging economy and it offers a vast scope of joint ventures in the fields of pharmaceuticals, energy, food processing, mining, oil and gas exploration. He said that Pakistan is the best place for investment as things have remarkably improved. He urged envoy to ease visa regime for business community and flexibility in travel advisory.

He also gave a short briefing on RCCI current and upcoming events.