Pakistan needs to deepen bilateral economic and trade relations with Sweden and should also work to boost business-to-business connectivity between the two countries, said Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Chairman Qurban Ali.

During a meeting with Ambassador of Sweden to Pakistan Henrik Persson on Wednesday, he invited Swedish investors to take advantage of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and related Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in different regions.

Ali asked the ambassador to bring investment to the areas of hydroelectric power, tourism, mines and minerals, transport and housing in order to enhance cooperation between the two countries.

The FPCCI chief said that CPEC-related Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) SEZ and others would help increase business and industrial cooperation between business communities of Sweden and Pakistan.

He suggested that Swedish investors and businessmen could invest and start joint ventures with local industrialists in G-B in agriculture, livestock, mines and minerals and milk product sectors.

He pointed out that G-B was a gateway for CPEC and would provide opportunities to the Swedish businesspeople to connect with China as well as regional countries including Central Asian Republics (CARs) in a bid to benefit from their economies.

He highlighted that there was huge potential for hydroelectric power production, adding that the G-B region had immense potential in the tourism and livestock sectors.

Talking about further opportunities, the FPCCI official said that Gwadar offered a huge opportunity to EU and Scandinavian countries for connecting the whole region in order to achieve their economic and trade targets.

Speaking on the occasion, the Swedish ambassador agreed to look into the possibility of investment and business cooperation and expressed interest in cooperating in the areas of hydroelectric power, tourism, mines and minerals, housing, telecom, information technology, renewable energy, education, academia, business development and environmental protection. He said that Pakistan and Sweden had completed 16 rounds of economic and trade consultation for enhancing cooperation with regional countries through Pakistan. The two sides discussed the entire range of bilateral relations, including political, economic, trade, investment and education.

“We have offered cooperation in investment-friendly policies of the government and have highlighted opportunities in information technology, water and waste management, tourism and hospitality sectors. There is hope that Swedish companies will take advantage by investing in these sectors,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2021.

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