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UK diplomat perceives Pakistan as an emerging frontier market

UK diplomat perceives Pakistan as an emerging frontier market

KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group & former president Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Siraj Kassam Teli, while thoroughly briefing the British Deputy High Commissioner Mike Nithavrianakis about KCCI and BMG at a meeting during his visit to KCCI, informed that KCCI with a strong membership base of more than 22,000 members, which is even greater than the accumulated membership of all other 42 Chambers of Commerce across Pakistan, has been successfully resolving issues being faced by the business and industrial community.

Siraj Teli said, “Businessmen Group has been running KCCI’s affairs since last 22 years and every year we have been winning all the elections, of which many elections were won unopposed. Thanks to Almighty Allah and of course the support of business & industrial community of Karachi, we have not lost a single seat and the reason behind this success is our motto of Public Service.”

“We represent Karachi which is the industrial, financial and commercial hub and the largest city with a huge population of 22 million people, spread over a land of more than 3500 sq. kilometers and around 16,000 industries are also operational here in all seven industrial zones who are also affiliated with KCCI. We actively participate in government’s exchequer to the tune of around 70 percent. We get involved in everything that concerns Karachi at federal, provincial and local government levels. We talk about Karachi and anything that impacts this city whether it is law & order, infrastructure or any other issue”, he added.

Commenting on British Pakistan relations, Siraj Teli said that many Pakistanis especially some of those living in Karachi consider UK as their second home. A lot of people frequently visit UK for business, holidays and studies etc. It is very heartening to see that over 60 British companies have invested here and are successfully running their businesses in Pakistan. Pakistan and UK have been enjoying very close relations and it was really encouraging to see that many MoUs have been signed between different entities of the two countries however, a lot more still needs to be done and steps have to be taken from both sides to further improve the existing trade volume.

While referring to UK’s exit from European Union by the end of January 2020, Siraj Teli suggested that the British Deputy High Commission and Karachi Chamber should form a Special Committee which must be given the task to review any issue likely to emerge after UK’s exit from EU that may affect businesses and accordingly give recommendations on how to deal with them in order to ensure smooth trade between the two countries.

In response to British Deputy High Commissioner’s remarks about travel advisory, Chairman BMG said, “The law and order was not an issue in Karachi any more. Karachi is much safer than Lahore today. The law & order situation was very bad before 2013 but the city is spread over an area of 3500 square kilometers and sometimes, if anything happened in one corner of the city, the rest of the city doesn’t even know until it is broadcasted by TV Channels. BBC and CNN highlighted Karachi in such a manner that the world would say Karachi is too bad and it should not be visited. He said that the previous five or may be six British Deputy High Commissioners in Karachi always moved freely and attended a lot of social gatherings.”